COVID-19 Propels Information Literacy Instruction Many Years Forward


Leslin H. Charles, Lily Todorinova


Rutgers University


Partnerships, remote instruction, information literacy


Prior to March 2020, New Brunswick Libraries at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (RU) were focusing on two important instructional partnerships. Namely, the sustainability of a longstanding relationship with the Writing Program (WP) in the School of Arts and Sciences and the development of a new collaboration and The Equal Opportunity Fund (EOF).

In the WP, each semester, there are 50+ sections of an undergraduate writing course, Research in the Disciplines, with over 90% requiring in-person information literacy (IL) instruction. Also, nearly 300 traditionally under-represented students participating in the federally funded (EOF) program were expected on campus for their First Year Experience Summer Seminar to be followed in the Fall 2020 by the RU 1st Seminar.

With the advent of COVID 19 in New Jersey (the epicenter of the virus in the US) RU went completely remote. This new normal has forced us to demonstrate agility in ways not previously possible. In fact, the new environment has propelled us to achieve a type of service that had been many years still ahead of us.

Prior to COVID 19 we were looking to update traditional in-person one shot IL sessions while employing the use of complementary online tutorials. Now, more flexible types of library interactions are being offered, various Learning Management System capabilities are being utilized, and librarians are able to be embedded in creative new ways. This presentation will highlight on-going efforts to design and assess this new customized virtual approach to teaching IL in these two programs.


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