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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 874-2116

URI Library selected to host national
conference on Information Literacy, Aug. 1-6

URI nationally known for information literacy programs

KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 30, 2003 -- Picture this: An 18 year-old freshman leaves his first college class with a research paper due in two months. He figures he'll just go to his computer and do a Google search or he walks into the library to do a quick search for books or magazines or journals on the topic. Very quickly he's confronted with so much information, he realizes he doesn’t know where or how to begin and becomes completely frustrated.

This soon may be the scene at any college or university nationwide as thousands head back to school.

Thankfully, 90 librarians from schools around the country have been selected to attend a conference this week at the University of Rhode Island to learn how to integrate the most innovative programs and approaches to "Information Literacy."

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Institute for Information Literacy (IIL) is holding "Immersion '03," Friday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 6.

The conference will provide four-and-one-half days of intensive training and education for academic librarians who are involved with and/or teach information literacy at their institutions. Immersion '03 will provide the librarians with the intellectual tools and practical techniques to help their institutions build or enhance their instruction program.

A nationally recognized faculty will teach the program, and the participants were selected through a competitive process.

"This is a tremendous honor. Because URI's Information Literacy Program has been recognized as one of the premier programs in the country, we were approached to host this conference for the first time in the Northeast," said Paul Gandel, Vice Provost for Information Services and Dean of University Libraries.

Information Literacy programs, like the one underway at the University, are helping to relieve what is known as the "information anxiety" many students experience when asked to prepare a research paper. More than library instruction, information literacy includes an understanding of the landscape of information available today, and knowledge of how to gather, evaluate and use the information.

URI Library faculty have been invited to share their plan for Information Literacy at URI program with the Rhode Island Library Association, the Association for College and Research Libraries, the New England Library Association and the New England Library Instruction Committee, and at other local, regional and national meetings.

The URI Plan has been cited in numerous publications in the U.S. and U.K., and is a "showcase" example of the Best Practices in the Institute for Information Literacy of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

For more information on URI's Information Literacy program, visit Instruction Services, or contact Mary MacDonald, assistant professor librarian, 401.874.4635.

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