Information Literacy Program

Information Literacy Program

Our Mission

The mission of the Stevens-German Library Information Literacy Program is to help members of the Hartwick Community develop skills that will support their learning and research needs while at Hartwick College and beyond. With this program, we hope to provide access to the enormous variety of print and digital resources available through our library gateway. We also encourage collaboration between faculty and library staff in order to integrate information literacy competencies into the curriculum. We understand that library instruction is less effective and less meaningful when it is not taught in conjunction with the curriculum.

Our Goal

Our goal is to insure that students graduating from Hartwick College are prepared to negotiate effectively and independently the world of information and to make sound judgments about its use and quality. The information literacy program at Hartwick is designed to help students to develop competencies and skills that have been identified by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. According to the Middle States Association Information Literacy is:

“an intellectual framework for identifying, finding, understanding, evaluating and using information. It includes determining the nature and extent of needed information; accessing information effectively and efficiently; evaluating critically information and its sources; incorporating selected information in the learner’s knowledge base and value system; using information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; understanding the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and information technology; and observing laws, regulations, and institutional policies related to the access and use of information.”

(Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education: Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Higher Education: Philadelphia 2002, pg. 32.)

In cooperation with the Office of First Year Experience, the library has implemented a brief library orientation for all incoming freshmen. Learning outcomes addressing basic concepts related to the library have been developed for the tours. Beginning in the Fall of 2013, Hartwick’s First Year Seminar will include the following learning outcome related to information literacy: Cultivate information literacy and research techniques. By introducing the skills of identifying appropriate sources and assessing the quality of information, the FYS cultivates individuals capable of evaluating and determining the relevance of information.

Hartwick participates in the HEDS Survey, which allows us to gather data about student information literacy to be used in benchmarking results of our program.

In addition, the library provides instructional services, reference consultations, and on-line guides.

The Hartwick Information Literacy Program includes six components:


On request from faculty, the library staff provides basic orientations to the library that cover the Library of Congress system, searching the Hartwick Library’s Discovery Service, using the reference section of the library, the differences between keyword searching and subject searching, and an introduction to some of the larger, multidisciplinary periodical indices. These introductory sessions are designed for freshmen and sophomores and are most often provided for English Composition, First Year Seminar and First Year Experience courses.


The library staff provides specialized, advanced library orientation sessions for upper division classes with primarily juniors and seniors. Often these classes are designed to support advanced work for particular majors, including either research methods classes or classes that provide a foundation for senior thesis research and capstone projects. These sessions are more advanced than the basic orientation, and they include specialized instruction for particular disciplines using particular research tools. The emphasis for these sessions is on group exercises and interactive learning, unless class size is prohibitive. We are eager to collaborate with faculty to design exercises and activities that support the research project that students are doing for the class.


The library staff provides tutorials in RefWorks, a bibliographic citation manager that enables students to develop their own database of citations for research projects and papers that they are assigned. Students can also use RefWorks to format their papers and footnotes. Instruction in RefWorks is designed to support academic integrity, discourage plagiarism and encourage awareness of the legal and ethical use of information.


As a capstone of the Information Literacy program, the library staff offers a special consultation session with any student working on their senior thesis or capstone. The library has offered this specialized service for close to fifteen years. Surveys of students who availed themselves of this service have yielded very positive responses. The consultation service is designed to support a required component of the curriculum, but it is tailored to the needs and interests of particular individuals.


The library provides online instructional resources called LibGuides. The staff have developed guides for a particular field or area of study (for example, Art and Art History Research at the Stevens-German Library, or Theater Arts, Education Research or Nursing Research, Psychology Research,. etc.) a particular class, or a particular assignment. We have also developed guides designed to help students in particular aspects of research, such as Using WorldCat, Interlibrary Loan, Finding Book Reviews, Finding Articles, Evaluating Web Sites, etc.


The library staff provides support for faculty research and teaching by periodically offering to meet with faculty individually and acquaint them with changes in the library’s resources, introduce them to new databases and familiarize them with the use of RefWorks.

Schedule a Class:

Submit: Online Request Form
Call: 607-431-4440