NELIG Meeting - 1/23/2004


NELIG Minutes for the Meeting on January 23, 2004 at  Springfield College

Forty nine members present including officers, Chris Cox, Chair, Barbara Kenney, Vice- Chair/Chair-Elect, Sandra Rothenberg, Secretary, and Kendall Hobbs, Webmaster.

Chris Cox introduced Mary MacDonald and Joanna Burkhardt of the University of Rhode Island Libraries who presented a thumbnail sketch of their three-hour workshop: “Information Literacy a Comprehensive Plan” This talk was originally given at the ACRL national conference.  Joanne Burkhardt is the Head of the Continuing Education Library at URI in Providence and Mary MacDonald is at the main library at URI in Kingston.  The first thing they stressed was that this whole project developed very slowly.  It took over a year to get the plan approved by the University.   This plan can be found online at this address:

In their Powerpoint presentation, Mary and Joanne outlined the steps in creating an information literacy plan.  One begins by planning the plan by understanding the institution in which you are working, and its organizational structure as well as in identifying a need for such a plan (through needs assessment, passive watching, focus groups and/or surveys).  Then, get your group together of those people on your campus who will be involved, and plan to write the plan keeping the various audiences in your institution to whom you will present the plan in mind.  Look at what other institutions are doing in relation to information literacy.  After this, you can begin writing the plan including definitions of information literacy and a glossary of information literacy jargon. Organize the plan to fit into your library as well as your campus.  You can structure your plan by population, type of instructional delivery, location of instructional services, and time frames for delivery.   You need to set time lines for implementation.  Go to meetings on your campus to spread the word about your project, and try to get support from departments.  

In relation to planning for the future, you need to understand the money situation at your institution (look into grants if necessary), create a long term marketing strategy, and establish an ongoing review.  You need to promote your plan to different areas of your institution including students and faculty.   Resulting from their plan, the University of Rhode Island now has a three credit information literacy course which is a general education course under the Department of English and Communication.

In conclusion, for an Information Literacy Plan, you have to think of the big picture, put in a lot of options, but be realistic about how much you can do at any one time.  You need to think incrementally and modularly.

An aside:  Seven people teach in URI’s Information Literacy Course with eight sections of classes.   They also developed a library skills tutorial to complement their program:


Regarding Upcoming Meetings:

Chris Cox reminded everyone that the next meeting of NELIG is at the Olin College of Engineering in Newton, MA on Friday May 14, 2004.  Also, the annual meeting is on June 11, 2004 at Tufts University.  The program is entitled:  “Creative Collaborations: It Takes a Campus to Educate a Student.”


Respectfully submitted,
Sandra Rothenberg
Secretary, NELIG



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