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What They Know…

October 28, 2010

…And What They Need to Know

This session focused on the research and information skills of first-year college students.


During the first part of the presentation, Linda Neyer, Health Sciences/Science Librarian at Bloomsburg University, and Allison Burrell, Librarian at Southern Columbia Area High School reported on the results of a survey completed by academic librarians about their perceptions of the research skills of incoming freshmen as compared to the skills that the librarians identified as most important for these students to be successful. A quick poll of the forty or so attendees confirmed findings of the survey that “evaluate information critically and competently” was the most important information literacy standard. In fact, the consensus of the survey was that the most important skills were the least in evidence, and the attendees agreed.

Terry Mech, King’s College Library Director, used the second part of the presentation to discuss the results of an information literacy assessment tool that over the past seven years has collected responses from 3,800 students at six different institutions. Data gleaned from these assessments corroborated the responses to Linda and Allison’s survey–incoming freshmen do not know how to “evaluate information and sources critically. Terry then looked at what factors might have contributed to the variation in test scores and found that students’ high school curriculum may be a major factor.

For more information on this topic, go to the Google Site created by Linda and Allison: PA info lit learning community

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