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Does Library Instruction Make a Difference? - Melissa Bowles-Terry

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This talk was presented as part of the 2nd Biennial Kathleen A Zar Symposium at the University of Chicago. For more about the symposium visit: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/crerar/zar/Librarians hope to affect student achievement by meeting students in the classroom. At University of Wyoming, the number of instruction sessions offered by librarians has increased from 127 sessions in 2001 to 357 sessions in 2009, and our institution is part of a national trend. But does all the time and effort expended on library instruction help students succeed academically? This study will attempt to establish a connection between library instruction and student achievement via a focus group with graduating seniors and a transcript analysis correlating students' library instruction experience to GPA. I hypothesize that seniors who have had library instruction in their sophomore, junior, or senior year (in addition to the expected instruction in their freshman year) will be more successful than students who did not have library instruction after their freshman year. Hopefully, students who attend multiple library instruction sessions at UW succeed, achieve, and learn more than those who do not. Learning more about the student experience via the focus group and analysis of a large sample of senior transcripts will give us more information about which students receive library instruction, at what point they receive it, and how we can improve the library instruction program for students in different programs of study. We are working to create a tiered approach to information literacy teaching, and this study will provide us with some of the information and supporting data we need to make that happen.

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