Cultivating the Librarian Within: Effectively Integrating Library Instruction into Freshman Composition

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It has become common practice for library instruction to be included in lower-level college composition courses. Students are typically required to visit the library once or twice a semester to receive instruction on how to find books and journal articles for an upcoming writing assignment that incorporates formal research. But does this current model of instruction truly address course outcomes that seek to produce students who are information literate, critical thinkers and life-long learners? Faculty who teach such courses are often reluctant to surrender precious class time to a librarian, but this paper argues that the merging of bibliographic instruction with composition curriculum can more effectively tackle course goals with minimal interruption to the class schedule. The aim of this paper is to challenge the conventional relationship between library instruction and lower-level composition courses by assessing and discussing the implementation of a new freshman writing course that fully integrates library instruction into the course and into the classroom.


Keywords: Information Literacy, Information Fluency, Life-Long Learning, Bibliographic Instruction, Libraries, Librarians, ESL Classroom, Critical Thinking, Academic Collaboration, Freshman Composition
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Cultivating the Librarian Within


Jesse Ulmer

Assistant Professor of English, General Education Program, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar
Doha, Qatar

Jesse Ulmer is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts in Doha, Qatar. He completed his undergraduate work in English Studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minnesota, and his graduate work in English Literature at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Since last January he has been teaching research and writing to Arabic speaking students in Doha, Qatar. His research interests include science fiction, cross-cultural studies, writing, and teaching English as a second language.

Nancy Fawley

Reference Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar
Doha, State of Qatar, Qatar


Ref: L09P0808