Guerrieri Academic Commons arial view from front entrance.

Information Literacy Partner of the Month

April/May 2016

Congratulations to Sara Lowery , Coordinator of Student Life in the Office of Student Activities, Organizations, and Leadership, who is the SU Libraries’ Information Literacy Partner of the Month for April-May. James Parrigin, Coordinator of Library Instruction, nominated her, noting:

The first time that Sara and I met to discuss this sentiment, I wasn’t sure if she would be convinced that the library is a critical part of the college experience. I wasn’t sure if getting the library on the Orientation agenda would be much of a priority. I was thrilled when Sara started to describe HER first year of college, reflecting on a watershed moment during her first semester when she realized that she really needed help with research projects and navigating the physical and digital library. I recalled my own freshman orientation experience, and it turned out that our stories we practically identical: we wished someone would have introduced us to the library early on. Ultimately, Sara sees the value of helping new students think of the academic library as a beacon of support rather than a big intimidating place to avoid.
It is no secret that SU has a time-honored tradition of warmly welcoming new students to college in the days before classes begin. However, some folks might not be aware that the library also strives to welcome these students to the college experience. Academic libraries are often referred to as “the heart of academics,” yet we often find it difficult to become part of an already burgeoning orientation schedule. From my perspective as SU’s Coordinator of Library Instruction, orientation is the very first critical transition, a bridge, to the building blocks of becoming information literate. New students need to know that we are here physically and digitally; they need to know that they WILL need help; they need to know that the library exists to help them.
During the Spring ’15 Orientation, we started small with a pilot and reached just 80 new students. At last Fall’s Orientation, 836 new students (or 71% of 1186 new students) participated in interactive tours that engaged the groups with essential library spaces, tools, and services. Sara was a key part of organizing this huge success. As the library prepares to move into the new Academic Commons, Sara continues to work with me to make library tours a permanent, engaging, and growing part of SU’s Orientation tradition.
James Parrigin Coordinator of Library Instruction

It is for this willingness to creatively work with librarians to help students develop a comfort level with the library that we have chosen Ms. Lowery as the SU Libraries’ Information Literacy Partner of the Month for April-May.

In addition to recognizing Ms. Lowery on the SU Libraries’ website and social media, we also will purchase a book in a field of her choice to be added to the Libraries’ collection in her honor.