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Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2

The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources. (Instruction of library use) 

Judgement: Compliant


The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of library and other learning/information resources.

The Library Instruction Program supports the educational mission of the Library by teaching information literacy concepts and skills that facilitate proficiency in the research process and enhance critical thinking. By preparing students to be proficient in these areas, the program also supports the University’s metropolitan mission. Information literacy concepts and skills are necessary for our graduates to participate effectively as responsible citizens in a diverse, global, and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life.

TheLibrary Instruction Program assists our students in acquiring and developing information literacy—a core competency that achieves mastery of the research and critical-thinking concepts and skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, evaluate, and use information effectively, efficiently, and ethically. The Library Instruction Program collaborates with classroom faculty and staff as essential partners in teaching information literacy, targets courses and programs for instruction and support to ensure that information literacy is integrated into the curriculum, and generally promotes information literacy throughout the university community.

The Program
All library faculty membersparticipate in both formal and informal instruction.  Individual and group instruction to students and other users is providedupon request.

Online individual instruction is available through tutorials accessible through the library’s webpage.  The initial tutorial on How to Start Your Library Research guides the user through the steps of establishing logon procedures and the basic steps to beginning research.  On the library’s webpage, there are also short tutorials for each step of the research process, including such topics as “How To Find A Book” and “How To Find A Journal Article”.  In addition, the library faculty have created over 80 Library Guides to assist in the research process.

Library faculty also collaborate with classroom faculty members to offer customized instruction informal sessions held either in the library, in classrooms on campus, or via electronic transmission.All University 101 and English 101/102 classes have at least one instructional session that covers the use of the library as well as the print and electronic collections.  The Library uses the American Library Association's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education as the basis for its instructional programs.

The following table shows the number of formal library instruction sessions provided each year as reported in Library's Annual Report.

Library Instruction Sessions Per Year (All Sites) 
Library Instruction Sessions 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 
Number of sessions per year235229270221210
Total attendance at allsessions4,6944,5835,3834,6514,197

The following table provides information for the non-residential campus sites.

Library Instruction At Non-Residential Campus Sites 
Library Instruction Sessions 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 
USC Upstate Greenville campus:      
Number of sessions per year912101310
Total attendance at allsessions230275218243201
Distance Education (including Sumter):      
Number of sessions per year14432
Total attendance at allsessions8177933190

The following table provides a snapshot of the instructional sessions for selected subject areas for 2009-10.

Library Instruction For Selected Subject Areas – 2009-10 
Discipline Summer II  2009 Fall  2009 Spring  2010 Summer I 2010 Total 
Art/Art Education 11 2
Biology 63 9
Chemistry 1216230
Communication 4419
Criminal Justice 32 5
Undergraduate Education 3  3
Graduate Education 1 12
Engineering Technology Mgmt. 1  1
English 101/10214543 89
English 33 6
History 3  3
Information Man. Sys. 3  3
Interdisciplinary Studies 13 4
Non-Profit Admin. 1  1
Nursing 36 9
Psychology 137 20
Sociology 22 4
Speech 1  1
University 101 301 31

The Library has collaborated with various units and departments on campus to create a First-Year Information Literacy Program.  This program is a collaboration of the Library Instruction Program with University 101, English 101 and English 102. The program is designed to give a firm foundation in the research process and the acquisition of basic research skills to first-year students. Students learn about information literacy concepts and develop research skills from their professors in the classroom, from librarians in three dedicated library sessions, and from assignments on which classroom and library faculty collaborate. The goal is to focus on research as a process and to reinforce that process between the library and the classroom and across the three courses. The program is overseen by a First-Year Information Literacy Advisory Committee made up of members from the Library, the Student Success Center and University 101, and the English division.  That Advisory Committee has created Policies and Procedures, a set of Information Literacy Standards for First-Year Students,and a framework of information literacy sequencing for those three courses.  In 2009-10, the success rate for participation in this program by the classroom faculty is 96% (only 5 classes out of 123 did not schedule a session in the library).

In 2007-08, library faculty created an iPod audio tour of the library to be completed by incoming freshmen prior to their on-site sessions.  Over the summer of 2010, the tour was changed to an interactive video tour (full tour available online only) with a follow-up assignment.

The library faculty at USC Upstate take seriously our obligation to provide high-quality instruction and continually improve our program.  To this end, we encourage both student and faculty feedback on individual library sessions. Each librarian discusses the feedback process with requesting faculty at the time a session is scheduled.  In fall 2009, we began using Class Climate to administer student feedback forms. Printed forms may still be administered in class but online forms are also a possibility.  By using Class Climate, we are able to track two questions on the student form and one question on the faculty form for program assessment.

A new information literacy initiative for incoming transfer students was begun in 2010.  Titled “Foundation in Information Literacy” or FIL, students are encouraged to complete an online inventory that is administered through Blackboardto give them (and us) an idea of their level of competence in research and information literacy skills.  An online Library Guide was created for students to use as follow-up to the inventory and we offer workshops designed especially for transfer students.

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800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Toll-free: 800-277-8727
Phone: 864-503-5000
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