SPEC Kit 330: Library Contribution to Accreditation · 101
Brigham Young University
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Library and Information Resources 5
students came to the library 34,659 times to attend an instruction session. They came in a total of
1,875 sessions scheduled through 69 different courses.
LibQUAL+ results show that users turn to Google or other nonlibrary gateways more
regularly than to library resources (either electronic or print). Information literacy sessions are
designed to increase student awareness of academic research tools and teach strategies for
locating and evaluating the quality of information resources. These skills translate into lifelong
Information literacy sessions are taught in technology enhanced rooms with workstations
that enable hands-on learning experiences. An online tutorial supplements classroom instruction
and provides transfer and advanced placement students with learning opportunities comparable
to the on-campus University Core course program. The Lee Library has collaborated with the
Division of Continuing Education to develop library units in online credit courses offered
through Independent Study.
In February 2005, the Lee Library participated in the ARL project for the standardized
assessment of information literacy skills (SAILS) (RE 5.14). In this outcomes-based assessment
of the library’s information literacy programs, students were tested on national standards
reflecting their ability to determine the nature and extent of information needed and their ability
to access, evaluate, and incorporate information into their knowledge base. On average, BYU
students performed at or slightly above the level of the average student from 67 U.S. and
Canadian institutions. BYU students were significantly above average in their ability to develop
research strategies, a concept that is heavily emphasized in the BYU information literacy
In February 2004, the Lee Library joined with OIT in implementing an Information
Commons in space formerly occupied by General Reference print resources and open study
space. The Information Commons combines traditional reference service with enhanced
computer hardware and software. The pedagogical value of collaborative learning is realized in
this environment where students work together on technology-based course assignments. Signs
designating it a “No Shhh” zone encourage lively interaction and collaboration.
From the day of its opening, the Information Commons has been heavily used, with as
many as 800 students logging in at its workstations daily. Specialized equipment is in use an
average of 15 hours per day. Checkout of digital equipment has tripled during the past year.
The Information Commons includes 52 collaborative learning workstations with furniture
and computers in configurations that encourage group work. Two creative learning rooms with
computers, projectors, and smartboard technology accommodate more advanced needs. Students
from all disciplines can create sophisticated multimedia presentations using digital cameras and
recorders available for checkout. Students also have access to six high-end digital editing
stations and two workstations for Web design and scriptwriting. Trained library proctors are
available to assist students with multimedia hardware and software.
Several nonlibrary entities were invited to provide services from inside the Commons
area. Currently publications lab assistants tutor students in the preparation of manuscripts for
publication and in strategies for locating appropriate publishing venues. Other university entities
may offer services in the Information Commons in the future.