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Faculty‐librarian collaboration in improving information literacy of educational opportunity program students

Ma Lei Hsieh (Moore Library, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA)
Susan McManimon (Communication & Journalism Department, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA)
Sharon Yang (Rider University Libraries, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 7 June 2013




This study aims to examine the instruction of basic information literacy (IL) skills taught to the socio‐economically disadvantaged students in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Rider University in summer 2011. The study set out to determine how the beginning IL levels of EOP freshmen differ from those of other freshmen, their learning outcomes, and retention of IL as a means to improve future research instruction.


Faculty of a speech communication class and two librarians collaborated in integrating IL in the class assignments of the 2011 summer EOP program. The assessment tools include identical pre‐ and post‐tests, a second post‐test with different multiple correct answer questions, a survey about students' perceptions of their IL training, and the teaching faculty's observations of EOP students' research skills.


EOP freshmen are equivalent to the peer freshmen in their low levels of IL skills. The findings suggested that EOP freshmen complete IL instruction with stronger IL skills. The second post‐test revealed that many students were confused about some basic IL concepts. Faculty's observation of students' information literacy skills concurs with the pre‐ and post‐tests.


This study fills a void in the literature on recent research of information literacy skills of socio‐economically disadvantaged college students. The multi‐correct answer questions employed are valuable but rarely employed in studies or discussed in the literature. The collaboration of faculty and librarians in assignment design is valuable as an increasing number of faculty are utilizing librarians to teach the necessary IL skills needed in today's curricula.



Lei Hsieh, M., McManimon, S. and Yang, S. (2013), "Faculty‐librarian collaboration in improving information literacy of educational opportunity program students", Reference Services Review, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 313-335.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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