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Many students are assigned their first substantive research

papers in college, and many feel overwhelmed by the process

— they’re unsure of where to start, what resources are available

to them, and how to use those resources effectively. It can be

frustrating and confusing without guidance. Enter Snowden

Library’s instruction program, providing research support for all


The core mission of John G. Snowden Memorial Library is to

collaborate with faculty to offer an instruction program centered on

information literacy concepts and strategies. The program not only

enhances students’ library research experiences for classes, but also

prepares them to be savvy information consumers beyond college.

Tracy Robinson ’18, is double-majoring in art history and

international studies, and minoring in photography. Robinson

remarks that “Even in my junior year, I appreciate the library

instruction program for its ongoing teaching in efficiently

conducting research in the databases, and with citing sources.

These proficiencies are crucial for completing most of the work here

at Lycoming, and they’ll be equally important in the ‘real world.’”

Snowden Library’s instruction program is based on the

information literacy standards developed by the Association of

College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library

Association. Four faculty librarians teach in the program, which

provides customized research instruction tailored to the course

and to the assignment. “We teach skills and concepts that help

students make the most of the limited time they have to spend

on research projects,” says Instructional Services Librarian Mary

Broussard, “which includes locating the needed information for

the assignments, helping them understand why they need scholarly

resources, and learning to read, synthesize and integrate those

sources into their own writing as they practice being contributors

themselves in scholarly conversations.”

Library and departmental faculty work collaboratively in advance

of assigning research projects, and the librarians sometimes provide

guidance in designing the assignments themselves. “Partnering with

the library provides me with incredible support in doing the difficult

work of creating research assignments that meet course learning

goals,” says Betty McCall, Ph.D., associate professor and chair

of the department of sociology. McCall, who has a longstanding

partnership with the program, also notes that “the collaboration

I do with librarian Alison Gregory on course assignments and

information literacy is integral to my classes. Students walk away

with a much better understanding of the resources and assistance

available, and they are set up for success to fully understand the

goals and expectations of the assignment.”

Lycoming students are exposed to library instruction across

disciplines. In the 2015-2016 academic year, the program had 239

customized workshops; it is staffed by library faculty members

Taryn Bartholomew ’09, Mary Broussard, Emily Hardesty and

Alison Gregory ’97. The program works with more than 60 faculty

members from 30 academic departments or areas, including

first-year seminars. The reach of the library’s instruction program

is broad, and supports the College’s student learning outcome of

graduating students who have demonstrated information literacy

skills appropriate to the various disciplines.

Supporting Student


We teach skills and concepts

that help students make the

most of the limited time