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Faculty Services: Instruction and Information Literacy

This guide outlines services available from Moon Library for faculty, staff, and instructors at SUNY ESF.

Library Instruction

Librarians are available to give guest lectures on research strategies and library sources. We are eager help you achieve your learning outcomes for your students. Librarians also teach a one-credit information literacy course (ESF 200) each semester, in person and online.

ESF 200: Information Literacy

ESF 200: Information Literacy is required for many majors. This one-credit course is offered during the first five weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters. Online sections are also available, including during the summer. This course helps students gain confidence in looking for various types of information, understand information seeking processes, critically analyze sources of information, and feel comfortable seeking guidance from experts such as librarians, researchers, and professionals. Some topics covered include: selecting and developing a topic, library catalog and database searching, citation management, scholarly communication, publication cycles, and evaluating sources. 

This course meets college learning outcomes in the following ways:

  • Basic communication skills: Students will see themselves as contributors to scholarship, rather than only consumers of it.
  • Technological and Information Literacy
    • Use a variety of research methods to suit particular needs, circumstances, and types of inquiry
    • Use research tools and indicators of authority to determine the credibility of sources
    • Match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools
    • Understand and be able to utilize the resources available through F. Franklin Moon Library
    • Give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation
    • Understand the purpose of copyright, fair use, open access, and the public domain
  • Critical Thinking
    • Complete multifaceted research by breaking down complex questions into simpler ones, narrowing the scope of inquiry
    • Critically evaluate contributions made by others in connected information environments
    • Understand the increasingly social nature of the information ecosystem where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time

Guest Lectures & Curriculum Support

Contact a librarian to visit your class or work with you on developing content for your course. We appreciate meeting with you before the class to develop our lesson plan and tailor our visit to best meet your students' needs. Examples of topics we have covered include:

  • Using library resources such as the catalog and databases to complete specific papers and projects
  • Citing sources, including how to use a citation manager
  • Evaluating sources
  • Introduction of specific databases and resources that are relevant to a course, department, or subject area
  • Custom assignments for courses to help students achieve information literacy outcomes specific to your course or curriculum (i.e. FCH 232).

Specialized Instruction to Enhance Student Research

Faculty report students, and students self-report, as having difficulty getting started with research assignments and defining topics. The focus essay assignment, coupled with the research log, is intended to assist students to develop appropriate questions that can be investigated through engagements with scholarly literature.  This assignment can be used as a first step in a sequenced set of assignments culminating in an academic paper or another kind of project, or as a stand-alone exercise.

Emphasis is placed on exploring the scholarly conversation around a topic and developing the appropriate pool of research on a topic. Rather than connecting "pearls on a string" students will:

  • Identify core research on a topic 
  • Identify the research that disagrees with their thesis or research topic
  • Explore the broader pool of research that informed both positions
  • Conduct the preliminary research for a paper and write down (log) the steps taken to decide on their thesis or research question.  

The focus essay will demonstrate the search terms that were used, the databases searched, the types of resources found, how the student modified their search, an evaluation of their results, and how the student's topic may have changed as a result. Students will be exposed to how to read a scholarly article in the course of this exercise.