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John M. Flaxman Library SAIC School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Information Literacy at SAIC

In Your Class / Synchronous Sessions

Librarian visits your class OR Meets with your class at a specific time virtually

Flaxman librarians are excited to work with your students this coming semester. We find that these sessions are the most engaging and allow students to retain more of the information as we include active learning within each lesson plan. Each of the following lessons can be taught in-person (your classroom) or synchronously online (zoom or other platform). The library classroom is not available for instruction, but classes may arrange to use our space as a group, please connect with a librarian for details.

Below are the lessons that we are able to offer:

  • Library Orientation + Creative Research: In this session we orient students to the library materials including an overview of what we have in our collection, how to access items, and what is available to them in person and remotely. Additionally we will use collaborative mind mapping as one way to approach creative research. Click here for the lesson plan.
  • Generating Ideas for Your Research (FYS): Students will utilize mind mapping and their peers to generate keywords related to their research topic. They then participate in rapid research in which they develop research questions to inform their overall claims. Click here to see an example workshop!
  • Scholarly vs Popular, Finding Resource for Art ResearchIn this session, students are guided through observing the differences between scholarly and popular works common for art research including articles, books, and exhibition catalogues. We also discuss the value of various types of information to art research, rather than discounting anything that is not traditionally scholarly. Students are then guided through an activity in which they find resources using the library search. Can be customized to any class. An example slide deck is available here.
  • Using Wikipedia + Evaluating ResourcesIn this session, librarians work with students on Wikipedia, including how to best use it in research, as well as how to be critical of it. Then, student are introduced to ACT UP, an acronym to help students evaluate resources by asking critical questions of the information they are using. 
  • Appropriation as ArtStudents use Instagram, specifically the @whos____who account, to break down and discuss elements of the images used, and engage in The Framework for Visual Literacy in Higher Education, including ideas around originality. Click here to see an example slide deck!
  • Researching as an Alter EgoIn this introductory library session, students are asked to create an alter ego through the process of individual and peer mind mapping around common character archetypes. They then conduct research as their alter ego using the library search and find electronic and physical materials using keywords from their map.
  • Digital Literacy : Evaluating resources using Lateral ReadingLateral Reading,” is a fact-checking strategy for investigating who’s behind an unfamiliar online source by opening a new browser tab to see what trusted websites say about the unknown source. After watching a video on the value and process of Lateral Reading, students will then complete an assignment/exercise in which they practice this approach. 
  • Create your own session: Bring your ideas and collaborate with a librarian for a tailor-made experience!