Five years of first-year composition: A librarian reflects




Whitmer, Susan

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This presentation is a reflection of an instruction librarian’s first five years of teaching one-shot information literacy classes to First-Year Composition (FYC) courses in higher education. It is critical for the academic success of first-year students to develop information literacy skills: how to locate quality information, how to evaluate information, and how to ethically use information. New instruction librarians, who may be knowledgeable about information literacy, may not have the teaching skills to share this information. Instruction librarians are generally given only a one-hour, one-shot library class in a semester-long composition course to teach information literacy skills. Based on five years of trial and error teaching information literacy to FYC students, the author has created a flexible program that engages students, faculty, and librarians. In addition to exploring challenges and solutions of teaching information literacy to FYC, the author provides information on how to collect assessment data by creating a Learning Outcomes Project based on Kohl and Wilson's Rubric to measure the quality of cited references. The value of information literacy instruction is difficult to measure. However, the goal of this paper is to prove that information literacy instruction is intimately connected to student success as measured by retention, GPA, and graduation.


This presentation, "Five Years of First-Year Composition: A Librarian Reflects," was given at the "Write to Work" conference, Mountain View College, Dallas, TX, on June 21, 2019.


English composition, Library instruction, Library instruction assessment, Bibliographic instruction, Academic libraries, Information literacy, First-year composition, Early-career librarian