Reliable information is to civic health what proper sanitation and potable water are to public health. A polluted information supply imperils our nation’s civic health. We need high-quality digital literacy curricula, validated by rigorous research, to guarantee the vitality of American democracy. Education moves slowly. Technology doesn’t.
If we don’t act with urgency, our students’ ability to engage in civic life will be the casualty.

Breakstone, J., Smith, M., Wineburg, S., Rapaport, A., Carle, J., Garland, M., & Saavedra, A. (2019). Students’ civic online reasoning: A national portrait. Stanford History Education Group & Gibson Consulting.

Information Literacy Learning Community 

Would you like to more fully build information literacy into a course that you teach, or to work with a librarian to create assignments that utilize the course content you are already teaching to develop students’ information literacy?* As a faculty member, would you like to have a partner to share the load of transitioning your course to a hybrid or online format? As a librarian, would you like to contribute more fully to the lifecycle of a course? Would you like to be a part of a learning community with other faculty and librarian pairs who are working to do the same thing, learning together about how different disciplines can contribute to more critical engagement with information?

Apply to be part of the 2020-2021 Information Literacy Learning Community for Faculty and Librarians (ILLC), which will meet virtually August 31-September 3, 2020. Selected faculty will be matched with librarians to collaborate on the preparation or revision of a course, with the goal to better develop students’ information literacy skills.  You will have time to work together on your syllabus, create course assignments, and design content for particular class sessions. Your librarian colleague will also be embedded in your course to support your students as they learn to better discern, engage with, and contribute to information online. 

Program Overview


In the current social and political climate, the need for information literacy is increasingly evident as we have seen misinformation campaigns about COVID-19 and the Movement for Black Lives, among other issues. Both faculty and librarians in higher education have expressed renewed interest in teaching students to better decipher fact from falsehood, and both faculty and librarians have expertise that together can more effectively support students to become better consumers and producers of information (Goobler, 2018). But faculty and librarians are generally disconnected from each other on academic campuses and both encounter barriers that keep them from working together in programmatic ways to realize their shared goals (Christiansen, Stombler, & Thaxton, 2004). And as faculty begin to plan their courses to be delivered in various modalities, having a co-teacher and collaborator will be invaluable. This learning community is designed to begin to address these challenges by providing the space, time, and resources that faculty and librarians need to co-develop richer information literacy learning opportunities for students within courses that faculty are already teaching. 


Christiansen, L., Stombler, M., & Thaxton, L. (2004). A report on librarian-faculty relations from a sociological perspective. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30(2), 116-121.

Goobler, D. (2018).  How to teach information literacy in an era of lies.  Chronicle Vitae.  Retrieved from


The Information Literacy Learning Community is structured around the following goals:

  1. Develop faculty/librarian team collaborations to improve students’ information literacy knowledge, skills, and practices through the co-creation of course assignments, plans and materials.
  2. Raise faculty awareness of the range of skills and expertise that librarians can contribute to classroom learning.
  3. Build community among faculty and librarians who are invested in developing students’ information literacy skills.
  4. Make teaching more collaborative and public at Washington University.

All faculty participants will receive a stipend of $1,500 for their participation, which can be distributed as payment, and thus will be taxed as income, or can be placed in research or professional development accounts that are not taxed.

Librarians will receive $1,500 towards professional development funds for their participation. Funds are placed in a library account for the librarians to use at their discretion for travel, webinars, etc.


The learning community is open to instructors teaching courses during the 2020-2021 academic year at the undergraduate level in any discipline or school. Instructors and Librarians must be available to attend the learning community online as well as complete asynchronous work, August 31-September 3, 2020. Further, they must be committed to co-creating and co-teaching information literacy in their chosen course with a librarian, and to thinking with faculty from other disciplines.  


Five instructors will be selected to participate, with an objective of including faculty from a broad range of disciplines and schools.  Because faculty will be paired with a librarian whose expertise is a good match for the faculty member’s course goals, it is possible that a faculty member will not be selected because the librarian that would be the best match is already matched or is otherwise not available.  We will be looking for faculty who are committed to working collaboratively with a librarian to meet course objectives that include information literacy skills; skills such as, improving students’ ability to discern their information needs, find and evaluate information sources and claims, synthesize information, and use that information to an end. 

2019-2020 Information Literacy Learning Community

Learn about our 2019-2020 cohort, courses, and program experience here

Submit an Application

Complete an application using the link below. If you have any questions, please contact our program designers:

  • Cassie Power, Associate Director for Faculty and Academic Engagement, Gephardt Institute:
  • Amanda Albert, Instructional Specialist, Arts and Sciences:
  •  Kris Helbling, English Literature and Interim Information Literacy Coordinator, University Libraries:
  • Melissa Vetter, Biology, Psychology, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Subject Librarian, University Libraries:

The application deadline has passed for the 2020-2021 Information Literacy Learning Community. 

*The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as:

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.

This initiative is generously supported by the Leslie Scallet Lieberman and Maury Lieberman Information Literacy Education Fund.