About the Instruction Program and 21st Century Literacies in Teaching

Our Mission:

In partnership with academic units, promote and create an information literate campus.

21st Century Challenge

The Internet has fundamentally changed how information is found and used by University students. The traditional guarantors of information quality, such as faculty and librarians, are now easily by-passed, leaving the full responsibility of critical thinking and making quality information choices with the individual student. Are our students prepared to live and work as digital citizens in the Knowledge Age? Are our students prepared to be lifelong learners?

There is a set of skills that cross disciplines and departments on campus, often referred to as 21st century literacies. It includes information literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, digital literacy, and statistical literacy. The University of Minnesota Libraries are well positioned to support the teaching of these literacies though programs, partnerships, and resources.

Libraries Instruction Program

Between face-to-face contact with students, work on curriculum committees, consultation with classroom instructors, and the wide reach of many of our educational web tools, librarians reach tens of thousands of students a year.

The Libraries Instructional Program is a multi-pronged, system-wide effort designed to reach out to students in multiple ways including:

  • Orientations to the services and resources we offer and tours of many of our facilities
  • Walk-in workshops
  • A sequence of workshops designed to meet the needs of First Year Writing students
  • Course-related instruction and Library Course Pages designed to be integrated into course management systems, like Moodle.
  • Faculty and instructor consultation on assignments and curriculum
  • Credit-based courses
  • In-depth one-on-one consultations with undergraduate and graduate students and more

Learn more about our Support for Instructors
News from our Learning in the Libraries blog

For any questions or more information, contact Kate Peterson, Information Literacy Librarian (katep@umn.edu, 612-626-3746)

21st Century Literacies

  • Information literacy (ability to find, evaluate, organize and use information to inform and solve problems)
  • Media literacy (ability to question, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and create media messages)
  • Visual literacy (ability to understand and produce visual messages)
  • Digital literacy (ability to use digital technology, communications tools or networks to locate, evaluate use and create information)
  • Statistical literacy (ability to analyze and understand data to produce meaningful information)