Recommendations from the
in the
ACRL Institute for Information Literacy
Immersion '99

for the City University of New York (CUNY)
and the
Office of Library Services

Beth Evans (Brooklyn College)

Linda Roccos (College of Staten Island)

Maria Kiriakova (John Jay College)

Lisa De Palo (College of Staten Island)

Francine Egger-Sider (LaGuardia Community College)

Background Information about the Immersion '99 Program

  1. Provide a definition of the concept of information literacy

  2. Establish an official CUNY wide Information Literacy Program

  3. Disseminate the idea of information literacy across campuses

  4. Introduce the concept of assessment and determine the appropriate scope

  5. Begin formal, on-going programs of continuing education

  6. Integrate more librarians into the instruction programs at each library

  7. Encourage librarians to develop teaching portfolios and exchange ideas

  8. Present programs of current awareness seminars on each campus or CUNY-wide



CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 1.

Establish a definition of the concept of information literacy.


A committee of interested CUNY librarians and other faculty shall convene to write the definition as it would apply to CUNY. This committee could include the five Immersion '99 participants, Chief librarians from the ad hoc committee, and other interested librarians, faculty, and staff.


"Compilation of Core Information Literacy Competency Outcomes for Undergraduates" (College and Research Libraries News, April 1998) may be used as a guideline.

ACRL iil: What is Information Literacy?

ACRL iil: Outcomes for Track 1

ACRL Standards & Papers

Seven Faces of Information Literacy (Christine Bruce)

that provide definitions as well as directories to other IL sites and tutorials:

Grassian & Clark on Information Literacy Sites

Florida International University

University of Southern Florida (Drew Smith) Directory of Online Resources for Information Literacy

College of Staten Island (Linda Roccos)

Additional sites from Barbra Higginbotham:

Additional sites from James Marcum:

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 2.

Establish an official CUNY wide Information Literacy Program

The Program would propose the framework and timetable for involving this broad pool of interested CUNY librarians, other faculty and administrators in the job of introducing information literacy to the colleges and making it a part of the education of their students.

The Program would have several characteristics:

A. It would be open to all interested CUNY parties, whether librarian, staff, or classroom faculty

B. It would be primarily a Virtual Program for ease of communication, with its own web pages, listserv, email, etc.

C. It would coordinate efforts to develop CUNY-wide online tutorials (see below for Resources to Use)


Prior to the time CUNY offered to fund participants to Immersion '99, CUNY colleges were beginning to respond to the concept. A number of libraries were using the ideas of information literacy to help shape their instruction programs. Lines for "Information Literacy Librarians" and similarly titled jobs opened up in more than one college. When CUNY offered to fund three participants to the institute, there was a strong show of interest from many campuses and many librarians. The LACUNY Information Resources Instruction Committee held a well-attended forum to discuss what could be accomplished at the institute and how the ideas could then be brought back and disseminated through CUNY. Although only five CUNY librarians from four campuses attended the institute (three who were CUNY-funded), many other librarians at this time are eager to participate in organizing to promote and offer information literacy education. Harnessing their interest and experience rather than putting it aside would provide this committee with important assistance.


The Council of Chiefs Information Literacy Committee (CCILC) and the five Immersion participants (IP) may decide on how and when to involve other interested individuals. An invitation through the listserv CULIBS and to the LACUNY executive council could give other librarians an opportunity to participate.


ASAP for the first meeting of the new Information Literacy Program. Perhaps there could be a physical meeting to start things off, with a panel consisting of the Ad Hoc Committee, with the Immersion '99 participants giving short summaries of that program, since there have already been quite a few questions about it.


Information Literacy Curriculum (Beth Evans)

Nettrail from USC

Texas TILT

Labyrinth from Western Michigan

ACRL Internet Education Project

More Online Tutorials

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 3.

Disseminate the idea of information literacy across campuses
to administration, faculty, librarians and students with a goal to have it included as part of each college's mission statement.


The Chief Librarian on each campus can identify the appropriate college units (both administrative offices and departments) that should be engaged in a dialog on the topic. The Chiefs can also meet with their library faculty to decide how to educate other campus faculty and students to recognize the concept.

CAMPUSES with Information Literacy component

Brooklyn College Learning Cafe

Queens College Library LIB 100

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 4.

Introduce the concept of ASSESSMENT,
determine the appropriate scope, and provide guidelines for assessment.

(a) Determine if CUNY should assess the information literacy skills levels of all incoming students through formal testing as it currently assesses skills in reading, writing and mathematics (across-the-board pre-testing). Decide how such a test could be administered and what recourse would be taken to provide remediation for students who do not meet the needed skills levels. Develop programming that would support the work of New York City K-12 schools to assure that students are at the appropriate skills levels before they apply to CUNY colleges.

(b) Determine how each college can assess its full instruction program and individual instruction sessions. Determine if there is a need for pre-testing; determine a design for appropriate post-testing.


If CUNY-wide assessment is implemented, the discussion must be at the highest levels and involve the CUNY faculty senate and the Chief Academic Officers. Local program assessment would be best done within each library initially. Individual class assessment should be done by individual instructors who may also be observed by colleagues at their own invitation. Establishing informal, mentoring relationships between experienced instructional librarians/teaching faculty and librarians new to teaching could facilitate this.


University of Nevada, Assessment in Library & Information Literacy Instruction

ACRL IIL Learning Outcomes for Assessment

Immersion '99 Assessment Sample & Questions

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 5.

Institute a formal, on-going program of continuing education
for CUNY librarians to introduce the concept of information literacy, increase knowledge in new tools, and improve teaching and assessment skills.


The CUNY Office of Library Services can provide the facilities (the Open Systems Center and conference rooms) and possibily funding for on-site seminars (video simulcasts may be possible as well, where appropriate). An appropriate time for extended librarian training would be during intersession (January and early June) for 1-3 day workshops.

A subcommitte can be established from CCILC/IP to identify qualified trainers and speakers. Outside speakers as well as qualified CUNY faculty and staff could be invited to present. For example, the Immersion program offers possible candidates for training in information literacy (e.g. Mary Jane Petrowski can>

Transfer interrupted!

teracy; Debra Gilchrist can speak about assessment; Karen Williams can speak about leadership). Others may be recommended, including Immersion Program participants, etc. Trainers in other areas related to instruction and technology could also be identified within CUNY and outside of CUNY and invited to present a program or lecture at CUNY centrally.

Instructional tutorials can be developed centrally to provide training in using new electronic resources. An on-going task force can be established as part of the CUNY Electronic Resources Advisory Committee or interested members of the LACUNY Electronic Information Services Committee and Information Resources Instruction Committee can divide the responsibilities for creating such tutorials. Librarians engaged in such activities should be recognized for this work and given release time to develop these materials. Additionally, CUNY and college funds should be provided to allow tutorial designers to develop their design skills, or, alternatively, funds should be used to hire qualified designers to create the tutorials.

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 6.

Integrate more librarians into the instruction programs at each library.


Our libraries are becoming more learning-focused rather than collection focused as we move towards a centralization of technical services and out-sourcing and bring in more electronic resources with different interfaces. Librarians whose previous jobs involved extensive contact with physical printed collections (cataloguing, acquisitions, etc.) now may have a chance to work in public services assisting library users with electronic products that are purchased centrally.


The Chief librarians on each campus should examine the organizational structure of their libraries to determine how to integrate into the public services areas librarians who are not currently working in these areas. Technical services librarians may be paired with public services librarians who can assist them in making the transition.

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 7.

Encourage librarians to develop teaching portfolios and exchange ideas about them on campus and between the campuses.


Individual librarians are responsible for developing their own portfolios. Consultation with the department of education on the individual campus and possibly a workshop offered by the department of education can help librarians understand the components and purpose of a teaching portfolio. The librarian in charge of instruction in each library can make the arrangements for consultation or a workshop.

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CUNY Information Literacy: RECOMMENDATION 8.

Present programs of current awareness seminars for librarians on campuses or CUNY-wide.

These seminars would inlude critical discussions of professional literature in library science and education with interpretations of familiar situations on theoretical level that would help librarians to reflect on their experience.


Librarians who have done research can be identified through their reports to the LACUNY newsletter. The LACUNY executive board can invite librarians who have published or presented papers each semester to a seminar to lead discussions on their research. In addition, the LACUNY newsletter can include a column called "Research in Progress." Interested librarian researchers can present information for discussion. Seminars such as "Problems and Solutions in Library Instruction" can be offered to help instruction librarians coping with similar issues.

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