Library Services Instruction 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.  In exchange for smaller class sizes, the English faculty committed to dedicating two class sessions, one from EN 11 (Fall) and another from EN 12 (Spring), to library instruction.  Every student at Fairfield University must take EN 11 and EN 12, allowing librarians to reach virtually all first-year students.  These face-to-face class sessions are taught by librarians and serve as a foundation for research skills and critical thinking in upper-division courses, as well as for lifelong learning.  The two-semester sequence of EN 11 and EN 12 is complemented by the library’s Academic Integrity Tutorial, which students take online through their First Year Experience (FYE) classes, and by the library’s formal orientation activities, which students complete at the beginning of their first semester.

Current program goals:

  • The orientation aims to:
    • Assist students in their intellectual transition from high school to college.
    • Help students to feel confident in consulting with library staff and using library spaces and services.
    • Improve retention rates by familiarizing students with academic-support partners within the library building.
  • In EN 11, students learn to:
    • Identify the differences and similarities among authoritative, peer-reviewed, and non-scholarly sources of information.
    • Choose, critically analyze, and evaluate different sources for use in college-level research.
    • Understand how information is created and evolves over time.
    • Use All-Search in order to find appropriate research materials.
  • The Academic Integrity Tutorial aims to:
    • Underscore the importance of academic integrity as critical to membership in Fairfield University’s Jesuit community.
    • Foster students’ ethical and effective engagement with sources, thereby helping students to become full participants in scholarly conversation on campus and beyond.
    • Support the development of skills that students need to avoid plagiarism.
  • In EN 12, students:
    • Become familiar with the steps of the research process in order to better develop their own research plans.
    • Demonstrate an ability to choose appropriate search tools for an information need.
    • Select appropriate keywords, synonyms and related terms for a chosen topic.
    • Understand that search terms and tools are grounded in academic disciplines and utilize that knowledge to conduct effective research.

For more information regarding the information literacy program, please contact Matt Schirano (, ext. 2587)