Bibliography: When and how should academic librarians become involved in student learning?

1. Stamatoplos, A. (2009). The role of academic libraries in mentored undergraduate research: A model of engagement in the academic community.College & Research Libraries70(3) 235-249.

This article describes the emerging trend of undergraduate research and makes recommendations for academic librarians to provide more support for the students engaged in it. Undergraduate researchers can have the information skills of a typical, new undergraduate student  but the information needs of an experienced academic involved in original research. However, being outside normal coursework programs they miss out on the information literacy assistance that is provided to either user group. The library staff can support these students through involvement in the institute’s programs and becoming an ally in the student’s research “team”.  


2. Levy, P., & Petrulis, R. (2011). How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are the implications for the practice of inquiry-based learning? Studies in Higher Education37(1), 85-101. doi:10.1080/03075079.2010.499166

As a qualitative study of first year undergraduates experiences with inquiry based learning, this article explores how students from arts, humanities and social science develop their understanding of the research process. The study involves interviews with the students throughout their first year. For many of the students, it demonstrates how their understanding of research evolves from information gathering beyond set texts, to an understanding of open ended inquiry and the creation of new knowledge. It also describes how their emotional journey moves from anxious and puzzled to empowered and “grown up” as they become “real” researchers. Challenges in the process included the student’s lack of information literacy skills – especially in the early stages, as well being initially unsettled by open ended inquiry.

The authors have derived a framework for inquiry-based learning from this study. They recommend tightly structured, small scale inquiry-based learning tasks for first year students to motivate and engage them in learning, and give them the information literacy, critical literacy, and other important skills the will use throughout their work.The study suggests that there is a need for  information literacy support delivered early to help students navigate information sources to locate, evaluate, and manage suitable material.


3. Hepworth, M., & Walton, G. (2009). Teaching information literacy for inquiry-based learning. Oxford: Chandos.

The authors suggest that inquiry-based learning creates a context where students become motivated to develop their information literacy skills as they seek out information to open ended questions. While inquiry based learning implicitly includes information literacy, the information literacy skills need to be explicitly supported and assessed, distinct from the essay/report/assessment outcome. Models of inquiry based learning are presented, and the authors situate information literacy within constructivist and social constructivist pedagogies.


4. Griffiths, M. , Kutar, M., & Wood, J. (2010), ‘Introducing digital literacy skills through IBL: A comparative study of UG and PG business information systems students‘ , Italics, 9 (2).

This article describes the experiences of two student cohorts, one undergraduate and one postgraduate, taking a semester long inquiry based learning subject. The experiences of each were quite different, the undergraduate cohort were much more engaged with the activities and their feedback demonstrated that they appeared to understand the benefits of the pedagogy more than the postgraduate students.

During the subject, the undergraduate students were given an information literacy class by a subject librarian and the postgraduate students were not. While a number of reasons contributed to the postgraduate student's lack of engagement, the authors state that they feel that future cohorts of postgraduates should receive information literacy instruction.



5. Levy, P., Little, S., McKinney, P., Nibbs, A., & Wood, J. (2011).  The Sheffield companion to inquiry-based learning. Sheffield: Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sheffield (CILASS).

The University of Sheffield’s Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) provides an explanation of inquiry based learning, frameworks for planning an IBL activity, and examples from various disciplines. A chapter is dedicated to information literacy and the authors make a number of recommendations, similar to those put forth in Hepworth & Walton’s “Teaching information literacy for inquiry learning” – make information literacy explicit in outcomes and relate the information literacy teaching directly to the IBL task. They also stress that it is important to “time information literacy interventions right, to support students’ inquiry in an integrated way”. 

Within this framework,  library integration sits well within the Pursuing quadrant.


6.  Fourie, I. (2013) “Twenty‚Äźfirst century librarians: Time for Zones of Intervention and Zones of Proximal Development?”, Library Hi Tech,  31(1), 171 – 181. doi:10.1108/07378831311304001

This paper argues that, although Kuhlthau’s model of the Information Search Process (ISP) features often in library and information science literature, very little attention is given to the Zone of Intervention. This is where the library and subject coordinators need to work together to identify the best time and method to provide library and information skills to university students involved in inquiry based learning.

The authors recommend that librarians learn more about zones of intervention and zones of proximal development by identifying their own and their peers. This knowledge should then inform us how we can provide the same supports to library users.


7. Kuhlthau, C. C. (2007), Reflections on the development of the model of the information search process (ISP): Excerpts from the Lazerow Lecture, University of Kentucky, April 2, 2007Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 33, 32–37. doi: 10.1002/bult.2007.1720330511

 This piece gives an overview of how Kuhlthau's research and exploration of the information search process developed. It explains the principle of uncertainty for information seeking, and elaborates on the zone of intervention.  Helping students understand the emotional states they are likely to experience as they go through their information search process should inform library support and services. 


8. Clark, S. (2014). Exploring the lived information seeking experiences of mature studentsJournal Of Information Literacy, 8(1), 58-84. doi:10.11645/8.1.1846

This article further explores the need for librarians to develop a better understanding of student’s emotional experience of information seeking, and share this knowledge with the student.  The author compares interviews with two mature aged students and compares the outcomes based on positive or negative experiences the students had when seeking help. 

Results of CSU Library classes and tutorials