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Information Literacy at Hamline University: Bush Library Contributions: Home

Bush Library has taken a leadership role at our university in assessing information literacy compentencies.

Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy

 Our outcomes are based on ACRL Standards and feed into our University-wide learning outcome:

“A Hamline graduate will be able to use information and technology competently and responsibly.”

A Hamline student will be able to:

Develop a research strategy.

Select the appropriate finding tools (databases/indexes) for research.

Effectively search finding tools

Use finding tool features.

Retrieve sources from multiple providers.

Evaluate the sources discovered.

Document the sources cited in the research.

Understand the economic, legal and social issues which surround the creation, use, and ownership/retention of information


Sharing Assessment Results with Students

Each semester Bush Library shares the results from our assessment tools with our first year students and their faculty members. We hope these results will help students recognize their IL strengths and weaknesses and we use these results to set a baseline for measuring future growth in this learning area.

Graduate students assessment results were either shared directly with students, sent to faculty, or both, depending on the librarian doing the assessment, the course, and instructor's needs. 

Use Assessment Data to Improve Teaching & Learning

The teaching librarians at Hamline University are continuously reviewing their course-integrated instruction sessions to: 

  1. determine the best pedagogies to use for our instruction
  2. advise faculty on best practices for integrating IL concepts into their assignments
  3. and to help faculty plan how and when IL concepts get introduced and emphasized throughout a student's academic program.

We are sharing assessment data with faculty to make them aware of student IL competencies at various points in their academic lives.

We are sharing test results with students who can track their own progress toward this university learning outcome.


Information Literacy Instruction

Hamline University faculty voted to revise our undergraduate general education curriculum, the "Hamline Plan," to include an integrated Information Literacy (IL) core competency component in spring 2013. Hamline Plan letter Q was renamed Independent Critical Inquiry and Information Literacy. The cornerstone for introducing information literacy skills occurs through course-embedded Information Literacy instruction to all first year students in two courses:

  • First Year Seminar
  • First Year Writing 1120

Bush Library has articulated Information Literacy learning outcomes specific to these two courses. Faculty may suggest the inclusion of other learning outcomes and skills for inclusion in a library session. Undergraduate degree programs map out for students which disciplinary courses in their major allow students to build upon these introductory experiences to gain a foundation in information literacy. In their senior year students are expected to independently demonstrate the culmination of this competency in a required integrative project in a course that counts in the major. The university will use this senior project to assess that competency.

Graduate students in most degree programs also receive information literacy instruction in at minimum, at least one core course in their degree program. Bush Library serves all academic programs of the university.

IL instruction is provided by the academic teaching librarians at Bush Library.  

Assessing Information Literacy

Bush Library currently uses Credo as our primary standardized assessment tool for undergraduate IL assessment. We began assessing IL competencies in spring 2009 with a product called Project SAILS. Since that time we have switched assessment platforms periodically with the intent of making the assessment process more simplified for testers and administrators.

We provide students feedback about their own performance.

Their individual results provides data to support our evidence-based learning and teaching cycle, which consists of:

    1.   A pre-test and post -test in the first month and a half of classes, measuring first year student knowledge and skills prior to and after completing the online learning modules.

 2.   Course-integrated, interactive, technology-rich, classroom learning focused on Information Literacy instruction in two courses during their first year.


Graduate student IL assessment has occurred in more diverse ways on our campus, depending on the graduate program. Most graduates enrolled in the School of Education & Leadership are assessed using in-house developed library lab assignments and quizzes.  

Assessment is an ongoing activity. We are always reviewing the tools we use to assess, and the results they generate to determine when changes are needed. 

Subject Guide

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Amy Sheehan
Hamline University
Bush Memorial Library, Room 106
1536 Hewitt Ave., MS-C1919
St. Paul, MN 55104

Presentations on IL