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Information Literacy and Instruction

Resources and tips about information literacy, critical thinking, and how faculty can incorporate these concepts into their courses.

Why work with a librarian?

  • We know the Bentley Library collections. Reference librarians work with electronic and print sources every day, and can help students match the scope of their research questions to appropriate sources.
  • We do research on research. Reference librarians keep up with the latest sources of information (electronic, print, or on the Web), and with the most efficient ways to search for them and within them.
  • We want to enhance students' learning. Both faculty and librarians want students to use information effectively and ethically, and to think critically.

User Education @ the Bentley Library

Bentley reference librarians work with faculty to make smarter researchers and information users out of students. We assist in incorporating information literacy and offer advice on library resources when designing assignments, or collaborate on a semester-long or one-time basis.

Research Instruction Classes

Research instruction classes normally take place during scheduled class periods in the library’s Research Instruction Center. They are most useful to students when tied to a particular assignment, at the point when they would normally need to begin research. Reference librarians will work with you to customize the class to your students' knowledge, skills, and research topics. Skills and concepts that can be covered include:

  • Topic exploration: identifying and focusing topics, teaching research as an exploratory and iterative process
  • Search strategies: how to turn a research question into keywords; how to narrow or broaden searches; Boolean operators; using subject headings
  • Evaluation of sources: differentiating among scholarly, popular, and trade publications; verifying information's accuracy and authority; identifying what types of information may be found in particular sources (e.g., reference books, blogs) and how to use it
  • Discipline-specific research strategies
  • How to cite information properly

To schedule a research instruction class, please use our Library Instruction Request form. For details and policies, please click on "Services for Faculty" under the "Services" tab on the library's home page.


Other Collaborations

If you are interested in library and information literacy skills being more embedded in your course, please contact either Matthew Van Sleet, Research Instruction Coordinator, or your departmental library liaison. Possibilities include:

  • Building on concepts in multiple, shorter sessions
  • Building library resources and skills into assignments
  • Creating a specialized course guide for students
  • Consultations with students or student groups
  • Anything else you can think of!

Embedded Instruction


Library research has been built into GB112 since fall 2009. Every first-year student is required to complete tutorials that include key concepts in information literacy and library research. These tutorials cover concepts of company and industry research, and give students hands-on practice in using library resources to conduct business research.

For more details about the tutorials, or how they fit into information literacy standards or GB Core learning goals, please contact Matthew Van Sleet, Coordinator of User Education (contact information on the Home tab of this guide). More general versions of the tutorials may be found in our Library Tutorials research guide.

Expository Writing

In fall 2010, the English and Media Studies Department adopted Library Literacy Outcomes to be addressed through the Expository Writing Program. For a copy of the outcomes, or to discuss how faculty and librarians can work together to help students achieve these outcomes, please contact Adam Williams, Research Instuction Coordinator (contact information on the Home tab of this guide).