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Library Instruction

Five people talking at a table.Jenks Library instruction is available through the Instruction Librarian and Archives. For more information about Archives instruction and visits, visit the Archives class visits page or contact Sarah St. Germain, the college archivist.

You will receive confirmation of the session within 24 hours of the request.  If you do not receive confirmation, please email Carolyn Oakes with your request.

Library instruction intends to fulfil Gordon College’s mission to “graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character,” by giving students and faculty the tools, skills, and support needed to approach their research with academic honesty and humility. 


Individual faculty should request library instruction, with the exception of The Great Conversation courses. Library instruction is embedded in the freshmen seminar & writing course as part of unit.

  1. Schedule library instruction at least two weeks prior to your desired date using the form below.
  2. You will receive confirmation of the session within 24 hours of the request. Your session is tentative until it is confirmed. If you do not receive confirmation, please email the instruction librarian to follow up.
  3. Your instruction librarian will follow up to collaborate with you on your lesson plan. Be ready to provide a copy of the research assignment students are working on. For ideas on library instruction methods, see below.

Types of Instruction

Jenks Library can provide information literacy instruction for your students in a variety of ways. Below are some suggestions on how to integrate information literacy into your course:

In-Class Library Workshop

Library workshops on research techniques and library resources is available for individuals and entire classes. Instruction may be held in a single session or a series of sessions in a computer lab or via Zoom.

Canvas Module

Embed information literacy directly into your Canvas course by asking the library to help you build a research module. It includes a mixture of reading and videos, followed by short checks for understanding.

Discussion Board Moderator

Embed a librarian into a discussion board to moderate students sharing research topics and sources or to moderate an online question-and-answer session.

Instruction Videos

Ask a librarian for help producing instruction videos to distribute to your class via Canvas or our Jenks Library YouTube page.

Check out our YouTube page where you can find instruction videos for all kinds of resources, subject searching, and more.

Subject Guides or Course Guides

The library can create a tailored subject guide or course guide for your class or discipline. These guides contain links and how-to information for the most relevant library resources and search strategies.

Library Subject Guides for each major discipline offered at Gordon.

Course Guides for specific classes at Gordon.

Individual Research Appointments

Both students and faculty have access to individual research appointments to receive personalized research support. You can also embed links to schedule research appointments in your Canvas page or assignments.

Library Instruction Mission & Standards

Library instruction intends to fulfil Gordon College’s mission to “graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character,” by giving students and faculty the tools, skills, and support needed to approach their research with academic honesty and humility.

In addition to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, Jenks Library instruction is guided by these principles:

  • Library instruction supports Gordon College’s shalom statement and its specific call to “pay attention to marginalized voices,” by
    • Evaluating the lack of diversity and access in scholarly, peer-reviewed sources;
    • Teaching how to supplement scholarly, peer-reviewed sources with credible sources from marginalized voices; and
    • Promoting marginalized voices through library outreach and instruction, including book displays, social media posts, and archives exhibits.
  • Library instruction supports both immediate information literacy needs-- the assignment at hand-- and lifelong information literacy-- becoming a credible source of information.
  • Library instruction builds incrementally on students’ existing knowledge, promoting mastery of a small set of skills over a broad introduction to all library resources and skills.

Gordon College Definition of Information Literacy
Information literacy is a set of abilities equipping individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.​ (Approved by the Gordon College Academic Programs Committee on March 24, 2011.)

ACRL Frameworks for Information Literacy
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) defines Information Literacy according to six core frameworks: 

  1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
    Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.
  2. Information Creation as a Process
    Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.
  3. Information Has Value
    Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.
  4. Research as Inquiry
    Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.
  5. Scholarship as Conversation
    Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.
  6. Searching as Strategic Exploration
    Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

The ACRL Frameworks for Information Literacy for Higher Education was filed by the ACRL Board on February 2, 2015 and adopted by the ACRL Board, January 11, 2016.  Learn more about the Frameworks by visiting the ACRL Frameworks website.

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