LibraryServicesInstructionInformation Literacy Program

Information Literacy Program

In the spring of 1998, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences worked with English professors and librarians to integrate an information literacy program into the core curriculum. First Year English courses were selected among all other courses for this purpose, because nearly every student at Fairfield University must take EN 11 and EN 12, the core First Year English courses. In exchange for smaller class sizes, the English faculty committed to dedicating two class sessions, one from EN 11 in the fall semester and another from EN 12 in the spring semester, to instruction at the library. These face-to-face class sessions, taught by librarians in conjunction with two online tutorials, serve as a foundation for research and critical thinking in upper-division courses, as well as for lifelong learning.

  • In the first session, held during the fall semester, students develop familiarity with a range of basic library resources and services.
    Activities include:
    • a virtual tour of the library
    • a discussion about how information is created using the cycle of information
    • critically evaluating scholarly journals, newspaper articles, magazines, and books
    • understanding appropriate sources for different information needs
    • becoming familiar with how to navigate our website and get help from librarians
  • During the fall semester, students are assigned a Plagiarism Tutorial in conjunction with the First Year Experience (FYE) Program. Students access and complete the tutorial through Blackboard.
  • In the second session, held during the spring semester, students begin to understand concepts associated with the research process.
    Activities include:
    • planning the research process
    • navigating and evaluating different information areas such as Google, Wikipedia, and Library Resources
    • distinguishing scholarly materials from authoritative and popular materials
    • brainstorming keywords and synonyms
    • choosing subject specialized databases
    • managing the research process with Research Tracker, a research product developed and maintained by Fairfield University librarians

For information regarding the information literacy program, please contact Matt Bernstein (, x2184) or Barbara Ghilardi (, x3459)