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Faculty Services: Read the Program Philosophy

Library Instruction Program Philosophy

The librarians and library professional staff at Stockton University seek to provide engaging, active, in-depth instruction in information literacy and other skills and concepts that are essential to research and learning.

We utilize a tiered approach to our instruction, classifying each library instruction session within one of two categories:

  • Foundations: Classes focused on essential research skills at a foundational level. Often first-year or second-year courses in which students have less experience with college-level research.
  • Research Methods: Classes focused on more advanced, discipline-specific research skills and resources. Often upper-level courses in which students have more experience with research and have mastered foundational skills.

We are dedicated to the following principles and related learning goals that inform and underscore our approach to library instruction.

We value Research Skills Proficiency.
To effectively utilize information, we must understand how to efficiently and comprehensively locate useful information, and to critically evaluate what we have found so as to differentiate credible, quality materials from non-credible misinformation. We want students to:

  • Develop robust search strategies for finding information;
  • Cultivate critical thinking skills that can be used to assess the quality of information sources.

We value Research Tools Proficiency.
To locate information, we must understand the forms that it takes, the tools that give us access to it, and the means of crediting those sources we utilize. We want students to:

  • Be familiar with the library research tools, including FlashFind and subscription databases;
  • Know effective methods for using those research tools to find needed information;
  • Understand when to cite sources and what arrangements those citations require.

We value Media Literacy.
To understand all forms of information, we must develop literacies that go beyond printed text, that can unpack the meaning in all forms of media and analyze both medium and message. We want students to:

  • Be aware that non-print media also contains multiple kinds of information;
  • Understand media as a means of delivering information with its own constructed perspective.

We value Critical Information Literacy.
To place information in its truest context, we must understand that all information created by human beings is a complex reflection of our best qualities and worst flaws. By the nature of our society and the unequal distribution of social capital within it, our institutions fundamentally benefit some and disenfranchise others. We want students to:

  • Understand that they are part of an entrenched, historic social system that privileges racism and sexism, and which influences all people and cultural products within it;
  • Work to question power structures and to dismantle unjust social practices and conditioning in service to social and ethical good.