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 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 2021-2022 Information Literacy Learning Community for Faculty and Librarians (ILLC), which will meet August 16-19, 2021. Selected faculty and librarians will collaborate on the preparation or revision of a course, with the goal to better develop students’ information literacy skills.  You will participate in a seminar where you will have time to work together on your syllabus, create course assignments, and design content for particular class sessions. The partnering librarian colleague will also be embedded in the course to support students as they learn to better discern, engage with, and contribute to information dissemination and/or creation. 

Recent Events

Information Literacy Teaching and Learning Community Forum
May 25, 2021 | Event Program

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). 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

Learning Community Objectives

As a result of the Information Literacy Learning Community, at WashU we will: 

  1. Improve information literacy knowledge, skills, and practices of students in ILLC courses. 
  1. Build community among faculty and librarians who are invested in developing students’ information literacy skills.  
  1. Raise awareness that the Gephardt Institute, the Libraries, and the Arts & Sciences Instructional Support Unit are significant contributors and resources for advancing quality teaching and learning. 
  1. Contribute to a culture where teaching is more collaborative and public.  
Participant Agreements

As a member of the Information Literacy Learning Community, you agree to participate in the following:  

  1. Attend an Information Literacy Seminar:  
    1. attend the seminar synchronously and complete asynchronous work 
    2. collaborate with your team member to do the following: 
      • examine and develop information literacy learning outcome(s) 
      • examine the syllabus and revise to explicitly integrate information literacy into the course 
      • adapt or create information literacy-focused assignments and activities 
  2. Ongoing collaboration during the semester that the course is taught: 
    1. Team: maintain faculty-librarian communication throughout the semester the course is taught 
    2. ILLC: attend monthly hour-long follow-up meetings during the semester you’re teaching
  3. Plan together as a librarian and faculty team the level of involvement of the librarian in the course. This could take the form of (though will likely not include all of the following): 
    1. Course preparation (e.g., instructional design; creating learning objects like videos, online course guides, quizzes, etc.; curating materials) 
    2. Observation and follow-up consultation 
    3. Teaching and/or co-teaching (synchronously or asynchronously) 
  4. Course and learning community assessments: participation in student learning assessment across courses, and provide feedback on your experience of the learning community  
  5. Contribute to annual reporting about the ILLC 
  6. Scholarly communication: participate in communicating about the work completed by your team to academic presentations or papers, e.g.: attend a showcase event to talk about your work; present at a department meeting; write a blog post and share out; write an article or contribute an academic conference presentation, etc. 
Sample Seminar Agenda

Day 1 
: What is information literacy and how will the faculty and librarians work together? Learning Goals: Develop faculty/librarian team collaborations. Explain what information literacy is and how it applies to their curricular context. 

Day 2 
Topic: How do we build transparent assignments? Learning Goals: Co-create information literacy course assignments, plans, and materials.  

Day 3 
Topics: How do we work together as a team and how do we scaffold information literacy instruction and integrate it with course content? Learning Goals: Raise faculty awareness of the range of skills and expertise that librarians can contribute to classroom learning 

Day 4 
Topics: How will we teach, assess, and communicate our work? Learning Goal: Apply teaching and learning practices and skills to a course (or course design process). 


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 fall 2021 at the undergraduate or graduate level in any discipline or school. Instructors and Librarians must be available to attend the learning community as well as complete asynchronous work, August 16-19, 2021. Further, they must be committed to co-creating and co-teaching information literacy in a course, and to thinking with faculty and librarians from other disciplines.  


Five instructors and librarians will be selected to participate, with the objective of including teams from a broad range of disciplines and schools.  We are looking for faculty and librarians who are committed to working collaboratively 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

Faculty and librarians should jointly complete an application using the link below. The application closes on July 16, 2021 at 11:59 PM CDT.

If you are interested in participating and have not identified a collaborator, we will be happy to talk with you and connect you with partners who share overlapping interests/expertise. Most commonly faculty have worked with their subject librarians; however, other pairings may be more aligned with your goals.  For instance, we have had faculty partner with data and special collections curators. If you have any questions, please contact our program designers: 

*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.