Madeleine Clark Wallace Library

Information Literacy Program Overview

Librarians are available to visit your class, to meet with your students in person or virtually, or to provide you with learning objects and resources in order to guide learning related to information and the research process. Though it is tempting to assume that students enter the college environment with a good handle on how to locate and effectively use information sources, research has shown that they tend to overestimate their abilities and that faculty are often surprised by their level of preparation. Because many K-12 institutions have eliminated their library and media programs and classroom instruction often focuses on content and test preparation, digital and information skills are not commonly integrated into students’ learning, though their fluency is often expected for college-level assignments. As we all recognize, information has changed in leaps and bounds in the past 5 years, and even more so in the last decade. Librarians can help you think through scaffolding for your project or assignment so that your students produce the high quality work you expect.
What is Information Literacy?

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as "...the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning." Librarians at Wheaton College take this definition a step further to include the digital aspects of information discovery, use, and creation.

How to Involve a Librarian in your Course


If your project requires students to find, read, evaluate, synthesize, document, or use a particular technology, targeted instruction at the point of need can provide the scaffolding of both concept and skill students will need to be successful in their learning. We offer a variety of asynchronous modules for this type of learning, or a librarian can visit your class for hands-on practice.


Librarians are happy to collaborate as you design your assignment and can provide insight for areas where students might require foundational or advanced knowledge on a particular aspect of the research process. Connect with your liaison librarian to talk over building support into your course leading up to a research assignment.


For individual projects, librarians can meet with students to help them think through any aspect of research. Consultations are most useful for those students with complex research needs. If you are thinking about sending your whole class over for consultations, contact your librarian to discuss ways certain topics might instead be delivered in a classroom setting

Modes of Instruction

In person

Librarians will work with you to design in-class sessions tailored to your pedagogical needs. These sessions are interactive and activity-based to ensure maximum engagement and learning. In-person instruction allows librarians to directly connect with students and helps to dissolve barriers to learning.

Active learning

Librarians develop instruction to bring students into the process of their own education. Through activities such as small group discussions, hands-on exercises, interactive modules, and inquiry-based learning, students develop better analytical, evaluative, and synthesis skills that allow them to more deeply engage with disciplinary material and to become lifelong learners.

Asynchronous modules

A suite of tutorials that use microlearning and scalability concepts can help you scaffold information literacy instruction throughout a course with or without a librarian. They are based on the flipped classroom experience where the general concept is introduced and the disciplinary application or perspective on that concept is explored through synchronous or even additional asynchronous activities.


Providing a common foundation for all students, two asynchronous modules and coordinating in-class sessions have been developed that introduce first-year students to the information habits they need to become academically successful throughout their tenure at Wheaton and beyond. Each FYE has a dedicated librarian that will work with you to embed the asynchronous modules in your Canvas site and to tailor the in-class sessions to meet your course needs.


Ready to talk to a librarian?

Cary Gouldin (she series)'s picture

Cary Gouldin (she/her)

Humanities & Student Success

Stella Hudson (she series)'s picture

Stella Hudson (she/her)

Instruction & Assessment

Social Sciences Liaison

Jenny Castel (she/her)

Science & Instructional Technology