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The Appalachian State University Library has a mature program of instruction in the use of the Library and other learning/information resources. The program is anchored by adherence to professional standards and best practices; guided by internal planning documents and assessment results; strategically staffed with a lead information literacy librarian, five librarians designated for information literacy, and broad participation in instruction by other library faculty; and is steadily broadening and deepening its impact on Appalachian’s curriculum.
The program is progressing toward the aims articulated in two documents: the Library Instruction Plan , and an Information Literacy Outcomes Assessment Plan . Information literacy relationships are solidly in place with two general education courses at the first year level, and the program is piloting its relationship with the sophomore writing course. In addition, there are recurring instruction relationships with courses in the major and with graduate-level courses in departments such as Criminal Justice, Curriculum and Instruction, English, Music, Philosophy, and Recreation Management. Librarians regularly teach library research/information literacy oriented credit courses in Appalachian Studies (graduate bibliography course), First Year Seminar, music (graduate bibliography course), philosophy, and University Studies (undergraduate; electronic research skills; offered online as well as face-to-face). Librarians regularly teach graded modules in English (undergraduate and graduate research courses) and provide instruction followed by graded assignments in selected sections of First Year Seminar courses; a physical education course; and a sustainable development course. The program strives to have a substantial impact on Appalachian’s student population by providing classroom or online sessions for courses in a wide range of departments and programs . In 2008-2009, the instruction program was involved with 137 courses (with multiple sections) in 39 departments. By 2010-2011, the program’s reach had increased to 158 courses (with multiple sections) in 49 departments.
This narrative provides evidence of compliance by elaborating on the preceding overview and by describing, in fuller detail, the Library’s provisions for library orientations, classroom instruction, reference and information services, and assessment of student learning.
Using advanced pedagogical methods and practices, the Appalachian State University Library ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the Library and other learning resources. The Library provides instruction through classroom sessions, reference services, individual consultations, and self-service online tools, such as tutorials and research guides. All of these forms of instruction are described on, or accessible from, the Library’s homepage .
Found in the University Bulletin, the principal educational goal  of the Library is to improve the information literacy of students. To address this goal, the Library's Instruction Program  is designed to:
Library faculty  from the following teams hold the primary responsibility for instruction: Collection Management Services, Distance Education and E-Learning Library Services, Instructional Materials Center, Learning & Research Services, and the Music Library. Library faculty in the areas of Bibliographic Services, Special Collections, and Technology Services make regular contributions to the instruction program.
The following discipline-related areas of the Library are involved in the instruction program: Special Collections  (comprised of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Digital Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection, Stock Car Racing Collection, and University Archives and Records); the Music Library , which supports the curriculum in the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music; and the Instruction Materials Center , which supports the curriculum in the Reich College of Education (see file named Library Instruction Plan in Evidence).
The instruction program provides instruction from the first year through the graduate level . The program offers library orientations, course-integrated instruction, and on-demand instruction. The instruction program curriculum addresses the University’s General Education Goals and Outcomes by teaching core information literacy competencies that require students to:
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education  serves as the foundation for the instruction program’s curriculum, which includes learning outcomes, in-class research assignments, and summative and formative assessment metrics. Library faculty collaborate with course instructors in designing and delivering course-integrated information literacy sessions that teach students how to find, evaluate, and use information effectively .
The Library has made major improvements to the instruction program in recent years by:
These improvements align with national standards and guidelines outlined in ACRL’s Guidelines for Instruction Programs  in Academic Libraries and Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy  that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline.
When instruction sessions are scheduled, Library faculty communicate with course instructors to ensure that the sessions cover appropriate resources, are well sequenced during the semester, and are helpful to students in completing assignments that require the use of library resources. Requests for library instruction are made via the Library’s online Instruction Request Form .
Comparison with other institutions  in the University of North Carolina system and with our peers shows the number of group presentations per 1,000 FTE during 2009-2010 to be well above the average for other libraries in the UNC system and very near the top for our peers. Appalachian librarians taught 44 group presentations per 1,000 FTE. The average number for our peer institutions was 25, and the average number for libraries in the UNC system was 35.
In 2009, Appalachian implemented a General Education Program with clearly articulated goals  and outcomes for courses from the first year through the senior year. A revision of the General Education Program has provided a clear map  for the Library instruction program to integrate information literacy  into the following courses:
Librarians provide instruction in a variety of modes  found in the Instruction Plan, including face-to-face in the classroom or in an online environment (synchronous and asynchronous). On-campus sessions are taught primarily in the Library’s computer classrooms, facilitating interactive teaching and hands-on practice with the Library’s online and print information resources. The three computer classrooms  are equipped with instructor workstations, individual computer workstations, overhead projection units, interactive whiteboards, SMART Sync classroom management software, and wireless access for student or library laptops. The Library provides links to its resources and services through AsULearn , the University’s course management system, to support class assignments and allow students access to relevant library materials and information at the point of need. The Library’s Distance Education and E-Learning Library Services  team provides support to faculty teaching off-campus classes.
The Library provides access to the catalog, library guides, electronic and print course reserves, reference tools, and research tutorials (see filed named Belk Library Homepage in Evidence), as well as over 360 databases  and electronic research tools. The Library’s collection of online research tools, available from the homepage, is accessible 24/7 and facilitates both instruction and learning at the point of need, both on and off campus.
The Library’s reference and information services include both point-of-need reference assistance and in-depth research consultations by appointment. Reference services  are offered in person at service points in Belk Library and Information Commons and the Erneston Music Library, as well as by telephone, text, email, and chat. Special Collections  offers reference assistance in person, by telephone, by mail, and by email, with longer consultations available by appointment.
The Library’s reference service points are staffed by library faculty, professional staff, and student assistants who provide guidance ranging from item location and directions, to technology and research strategies. Reference statistics  indicate a significant increase in the number of transactions via online chat and text.
The Library offers formal research consultation services designed to supplement point-of-need reference service and classroom instruction. The Research Advisory Program  (RAP) provides students the opportunity to meet with a librarian for in-depth research assistance. The Thesis Research Assistance program  provides in-depth database and internet searching assistance to students writing a thesis or dissertation. Thesis Research Assistance requests are matched with librarians by subject specialty  needed for thesis and dissertation level research.
In Fall 2008, the Research Advisory Program implemented an online request form  to involve more librarians, offer students convenient access, and better conform to students’ schedules. RAP statistics since 2008  reveal that this change initiated an increase in student demand for this service. In 2008-2009, librarians conducted 289 RAP sessions; in 2009-2010, 469 (a 62% increase). The increase held steady in 2010-2011, when librarians conducted 458 RAP sessions. In Fall 2011, the Library implemented a RAP Session Evaluation Survey  to gather feedback from users.
The Library’s instruction program employs a programmatic approach  in delivering information literacy instruction to students in First Year Seminar (UCO1200, HON 1515), which is a required course, and in First Year Writing (ENG 1000), which is the first year General Education course. The Library’s curriculum  for these two courses is based on the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education, offers discrete content and concepts, and articulates clear learning outcomes. The learning outcomes at the first year (Level 1) measure students’ ability to:
The Library takes a multi-level instructional approach to addressing the information literacy needs of first-year students. Students enrolled in these courses attend a Library orientation tour , complete a library research tutorial , and attend one or more face-to-face instruction sessions. The Library’s instruction program has demonstrated steady growth and integration into the University’s first year general education courses. The combined instruction  for these 1000-level core General Education courses accounted for a significant portion of the total instruction program course-load.
The increase in the total number of instruction sessions in this three-year period  reflects successful outreach efforts to first year programs. These efforts included meeting with First Year Seminar and First Year Writing program coordinators, providing information literacy training for faculty teaching first year students, and pairing each First Year Seminar course instructor with a librarian.
The Library’s instruction program also introduces students to discipline-specific library and information resources, advanced search strategies, and library research concepts specific to upper-level courses and assignments. In FY 2009-2010, courses at the 3000 to 5000 level comprised 35% of the total number of instruction sessions; in FY 2010-2011, 42%. This 7% increase in upper division library instruction  reflect the Library's continuing efforts to increase the instruction program's reach to courses at these levels.
Librarians have taught for-credit courses in Appalachian studies, computer science, library science, First Year Seminar, history, music, philosophy, education, and University Studies. Librarians also provide information literacy modules with librarian-graded assignments in English and University Studies.
Librarians partner with Faculty and Academic Development  (a unit of the Hubbard Programs for Faculty Excellence) to offer workshops for faculty and staff. Workshop topics have included plagiarism; EndNote and Zotero citation management tools; citation analysis; and database searching. In addition, librarians participate in Appalachian’s orientation for new faculty; provide training for new First Year Seminar instructors and new teaching assistants in the Rhetoric and Composition Program; and provide consultative services for faculty conducting research.
Distance learners contact the office of Distance Education and E-Learning Library Services - DEELS (see file named Distance Learning Library services in Evidence) for reference, research, and instruction  in using the Library’s resources and services. The office provides instructional support  to faculty teaching off-campus classes as well as library-related assistance  to off-campus students during daytime, evening, and selected weekend hours. Contact options include real-time chat, texting, toll-free telephone access, and email. DEELS also offers Research Advisory Program (RAP) appointments and instruction via online web conferencing, chat, and toll-free telephone. Another mode of service is through Appalachian Education Technology Zone  (AETZone), a 3-D virtual world utilized by three graduate-level distance education programs. Access to all distance education services, research materials, and Library personnel is available through the DEELS homepage (see file named Distance Learning Library Services in Evidence).
The Library’s instruction program helps students become active participants in the learning process. In order to track progress and make continual improvements at the programmatic and individual level, the Library conducts assessments  of students’ learning and librarians’ teaching.
Library faculty participate in a process of Peer Review of Library Instruction . This process includes observation and reflection designed to help librarians develop effective teaching skills and allow for continual improvement in the Library instruction program.
The Library uses LibQUAL+, an internationally recognized survey, to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. The 2006 , 2008 , and 2011  surveys provide useful data on information literacy outcomes. In 2006, respondents’ satisfaction with information literacy instruction ranged from 6.17 to 6.92 on a scale of 1-9. In 2008 their satisfaction improved slightly, ranging from 6.37 to 7.33. Results from 2011 again showed improved satisfaction with a range of 6.63 to 7.41. Thus, users continue to have a high opinion of information literacy instruction, and their satisfaction has continued to increase over time.
The Library Instruction Survey  (student feedback) and Faculty Library Instruction Survey  are brief questionnaires used to gauge the perceived usefulness of classroom instruction sessions. Librarians review the survey results to determine what adjustments are needed in their teaching, thus addressing all elements of the assessment cycle.
In FY 2010-2011, the Library began the first cycle of assessment of student learning in order to gather data on the overall effectiveness of the instruction program. An assessment quiz was administered at the end of First Year Seminar (UCO1200) and First Year Writing (ENG1000) instruction sessions. Data collected addressed the Library’s core information literacy competencies for first year students (see file named Information Literacy Outcomes Assessment Plan in Evidence):
Students receiving information literacy instruction in First Year Seminar  met the Library's criterion of 80% correct on 2 of 7 questions (2338, 2339), indicating that some are not able to recognize bibliographic data and accurately cite research. Based on this data, librarians are working on a more effective instructional approach to improve students’ ability to:
Students receiving instruction in First Year Writing  met our criterion of 80% correct on 7 of 10 quantitative questions, indicating that most are able to identify scholarly versus popular websites, but some are not able to identify scholarly versus popular articles.
A review of the comparison data  from Cycle 1 led librarians to revise the quiz questions for this course, review the instructional approach in use, and change the instruction methods and in-class assignments. The goal is to improve students’ ability to recognize scholarly versus popular articles.