Information Literacy @ the Sullivan Library

In-Class Instruction

Information literacy instruction is available to all students of all academic divisions, and is strongly recommended for any course with a research component (a research paper, group project, literature review, annotated bibliography, etc.). The Sullivan Library offers instruction in the Rosary Hall computer lab, in your classroom, and online via a/synchronous webinars. Instruction sessions are always tailored to your class and are most beneficial when students are working on or are about to begin a particular assignment. Some popular topics that we cover:

  • Using the library catalog to find print materials and ebooks
  • Narrowing a broad topic into concise research questions
  • Developing search terms & strings
  • Basic & advanced database search techniques
  • Using specific databases (EBSCOhost databases, PubMed, Cochrane Library, etc.)
  • Finding full-text articles
  • Critically evaluating web sources & authority
  • Citation management tools such as RefWorks


The Sullivan Library also offers workshops to the entire University community. Please see the library calendar for upcoming workshops. If you are working with a particular cohort of students whom you believe would benefit from a series of workshops (honors students, student athletes, grant recipients, etc.), please contact the Assistant Librarian for Information Literacy Services to discuss options at (845) 848-7506.

Need to brush up on some research skills yourself? Not sure how to use a new library tool or resource? If you are a faculty member who would like to schedule a workshop for you and your colleagues, please contact the Assistant Librarian for Information Literacy Services at (845) 848-7506.

Information Literacy Program at Dominican University


The aim of the information literacy program at the Sullivan Library is to help foster life-long learners among the Dominican University community. The information literacy program intends to promote and provoke inquiry by helping learners engage deeply in the richness of a research topic through questioning (not necessarily providing answers), critically analyzing sources and authority, and synthesizing this difficult work into original webs of inquiry and thought (McTighe & Wiggins, 2013). The information literacy program is committed to teaching hard skills, such as database and catalog searching, to help learners further these lines of inquiry. In becoming information literate, learners will be self-sufficient thinkers, thereby able and willing to engage responsibly in the pursuit of a more just, ethical, and sustainable world.

Goals of the Information Literacy Program at Dominican University

The information literacy program at Dominican University will:

  1. foster a student-centered, active learning environment where students create rather than consume knowledge, ask questions, and are motivated and responsible for their own learning.
  2. meet all students (full-time, non-traditional, CASE distant learners) at their point of need—this may mean face-to-face in the library, classroom, and/or other on-campus location, or online via up-to-date video tutorials, research guides, virtual reference, Blackboard, webinars, and other virtual instruction.
  3. introduce information literacy concepts in a holistic, comprehensive, and strategic manner; lessons and concepts will be “scaffolded” and built-upon rather than repeated as students move through their undergraduate careers. That being said, no lesson or plan for instruction will be set in stone: as needs arise or change, so will information literacy instruction.
  4. collaborate with all faculty to develop curricula that promote information literacy skills and to teach them about the library’s resources. The information literacy program will also work with faculty, when appropriate, to help them create well-written, research-based assignments.
  5. meet and orient all graduate students to the library at the start of their respective programs and provide information literacy instruction within their classes as needed.
  6. support all transfer students by providing orientation materials virtually, through video tutorials and research guides, and in-person, during transfer registration days.
  7. assess itself—assess instruction sessions, reference dialogues, and workshops—regularly through observational assessment techniques, pre- and post-assessments, and via initiatives like information literacy rubrics for final term and/or capstone papers.
  8. advocate for librarians as teaching partners and encourage faculty-, staff-, and administrative collaboration whenever possible.
  9. be an advocate and arbiter for all students and their academic needs.

To learn more about the Information Literacy Program at Dominican University, please reach out to the Assistant Librarian for Information Literacy Services to read the full Information Literacy Strategic Plan at (845) 848-7506.

McTighe, J., & Wiggins, G. P. (2013). Essential questions: Opening doors to student understanding. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Instruction Request Form


  • Whenever possible, schedule your session two weeks in advance so the librarian can adequately prepare.
  • Provide the librarian with a copy of the course assignment (and/or course syllabus) and, if time allows, have a discussion with the librarian regarding your objectives for the class, assignment, and if there is anything in particular you’d like the session to cover.
  • Faculty/instructor attendance to the instruction session is required. Your presence helps ensure that the session meets the objectives for the class and that students remain engaged and motivated. We appreciate your participation and feedback, and so do your students.
  • Instructors of the first-year English sequence can schedule their library sessions by emailing the Assistant Librarian for Information Literacy Services or calling (845) 848-7506.
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  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
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  • Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • (ie. Students will: employ Boolean operators when searching; find two peer-reviewed articles; evaluate web sources; check out a book; develop a research question; etc.)