Mgwigwi

Warner, Dorothy Anne. A Disciplinary Blueprint for the Assessment of Information Literacy. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. 116pp. 35 USD. ISBN-13: 978-1-5918-593-0.

When it comes to information literacy or library instruction, forging a relationship between librarians and faculty can be difficult, as librarians sometimes only see faculty once a semester when offering one-time instruction sessions. Dorothy Anne Warner's book, A Disciplinary Blueprint for the Assessment of Information Literacy is an account of how an institution can strengthen that relationship through librarian/faculty collaboration by way of information literacy curriculum integration and assessment. The book is definitely a "blueprint" for information literacy assessment as it offers well-detailed recommendations for incorporating information literacy and assessment into specific courses in various disciplines. These recommendations can be adapted by instruction librarians who wish to apply a similar process of disciplinary information literacy integration.

The book consists of ten chapters, with eight chapters dedicated to disciplinary modules for bibliographic and information literacy. The first chapter, "Laying the Ground Work" provides a background on how the process of curriculum integration began at Rider University, the author's institution. The process began by developing curriculum maps which identify what information literacy skills are needed for each level of study, identifying information literacy objectives, and developing assessment methods. The chapter also gives insights on what is involved in this process while identifying obstacles and opportunities, such as serving on curricular committees. The second chapter, "Evaluation as Inherent in Information Literacy" focuses on the link between information literacy and evaluation of sources. The author talks about the cognitive process one might expect students to develop between freshman and senior year and uses the cognitive taxonomy developed by Benjamin Bloom to define the cognitive expectations of students.

The subsequent chapters provide specific details on the recommended instruction sequence for each discipline. The disciplines described in the book are Film Studies, Integrated Sciences and Math Major, Teacher Preparation, Communication and Journalism, Business Administration, Economics, Entrepreneurial Studies, and Sociology. Each module describes information literacy objectives developed according to Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives, which is where the strength of the book lies. The process of integration and assessment varies according to each discipline's curriculum, but some common elements include identifying assessment goals, information literacy objectives, and information literacy skills to be assessed. Each module outlines specific courses where information literacy was integrated and, in some cases, what information literacy standards were assessed. There are, however, modules mentioned in the book that are still under development, but enough information has been provided to give a clearer picture of what the module will look like.

The sequences used in the book are also an excellent way of actively engaging students in the information literacy process. For example, one of the assignments for students enrolled in the Integrated Sciences and Math Major is to critique an article by looking at the article's data analysis technique and interpretation. Students are also graded on their information literacy proficiency whereby they will be required to produce a research plan for a literature search. Each chapter provides references and, in some cases, useful additional resources. The book is a surprising wealth of information considering its size; however, the drawback might be its small print, especially for the figures.

While the information literacy integration and assessment methods described in the book are specific to Rider University, they might be of value to instruction librarians who are developing their own curriculum integration and information literacy assessment programs as these methods are practical and can be applicable to various courses.

Thumeka Mgwigwi, Reference Librarian, thumekam@yorku.ca, York University, Toronto, Ontario.



Copyright (c) 2016 Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research (ISSN: 1911-9593)