Overview of GCC 's Information Competency Program

Information Competency Program Components

GCC 's information competency instruction program consists of:

Background of the Program

Before 1999

Prior to 1999, the GCC Library offered by-request orientations to those faculty who wanted their class to visit the library for research instruction. Beginning in 1998, GCC Library taught Library 101: Introduction to Information Resources and Research Methods (2 units), and since 2000, Library 191: Introduction to Information Competency (2 units, previously 1 unit).

1999 to the Present

Workshops: Through a state Fund for Student Success (FSS) grant from 1999-2002, the GCC Library added fifty-minute workshops covering aspects of information competency and began doing research on how these workshops affect student retention and success. Since Fall 2001, these workshops have incorporated active learning exercises, and are taught in a 27-computer instruction room. GCC faculty assign the workshops as homework in their classes. Students signed up using a database at the reference desk. By 2007, the database was web-based and now reports student attendance directlly to instructors' online rosters.  The workshops are taught by full-time and part-time library faculty. We offer 11 workshops per week, Monday through Saturday, at variousl times of day/evening. To learn more about GCC Library's workshop program, visit our Library Workshops web page. To learn more about the research on the impact of the library workshops on student retention and success, visit our Research on Information Competency @ GCC web page.

Library 191: Introduction to Information Competency: Through a state Fund for Instructional Improvement (FII) grant from 2001-2003, the GCC Library began pairing several sections of Library 191 with sections of English 101 and began research on how Library 191 affects students' semester GPA, units completed, and persistence to the next semester. The Library 191 instructors communicate with the English 101 instructors regarding research paper timelines, and students use their English 101 research paper topic when doing exercises in Library 191. Library 191 is taught by full-time and part-time library faculty in the library's 27-computer instruction room or in other computer labs on campus. Library 191, a two-unit course, is taught two hours a week for 16 weeks. Library 191 is not currently offered during short sessions or in an online format. To learn more about Library 191, visit our Information Competency Library Credit Courses web page. To learn more about the research on the impact of Library 191 on students' GPA, units completed, and persistence, visit our Research on Information Competency @ GCC web page.

Orientations and Infusion: Prior to 2002, the GCC Library offered by-request orientations for instructors who wanted to bring their class to the library for an individualized library research session. Starting in 2002, library faculty began working with instructors in Allied Health/Nursing and Cultural Anthropology on an experiment to infuse information competency into a discipline or course, as appropriate. Infusion involves making information competency instruction an integral part of the course or discipline, rather than just a one-hour visit to the library. Also in 2002-2003, the library discontinued by-request orientations in favor of library workshops due to budget constraints and our research which shows the workshops have a positive effect on students retention and success. The orientations attempted to cover material from three separate library workshops (a total of three hours of instruction with hands-on activities) in just one hour. Moreover, the classroom instructor had to give up an hour of class time to bring the class to the library. By using the workshops in place of orientations, the classroom instructor gets back that hour of class time, and students get more in-depth, hands-on instruction at a pace which lends itself to better retention and learning.

Future of Information Competency @ GCC

In 2003, the Research Across the Curriculum (RAC) committee was formed, consisting of GCC classroom and library faculty. This committee is exploring GCC 's information competency instruction program, researching information competency requirements in California community colleges, and discussing the possible ways GCC might implement an information competency requirement at GCC .

Ideally, GCC will soon have a way to ensure that all students (graduating with an AA/AS degree, receiving a certificate, or transferring to university) receive an adequate level of information competency instruction to succeed in their courses at GCC , courses elsewhere, and in their occupations.

It is imperative to work with GCC faculty members, our transfer institutions, and employers in the community to ensure that we are adequately preparing GCC students for whatever environment they next find themselves in.

Last Updated 11/25/13 ng

[top of page]