Information Literacy: A Tiered Approach

Librarians support the curriculum through instructional services that assist students with their research and provide them with information literacy skills for lifelong learning.  To that end, librarians collaborate with faculty to engage students with inquiry based assignments that foster critical thinking and prepare students to use information wisely and effectively in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Throughout their undergraduate years at Saint Michael's College, students experience multiple opportunities to hone research skills and develop expertise in evaluating, comparing, and selecting reliable and credible sources of information.

The new Liberal Studies Curriculum requires that First Year Seminar courses introduce research skills and citation styles, in collaboration with Library Staff, and that courses address academic integrity and plagiarism. Through their first year seminar course work, students should have opportunities to demonstrate an ability to engage in foundational research. Depending on the goals of the faculty, in First Year Seminar and other 100 level classes, instruction may address some of the following Information Literacy outcomes:

First year students will demonstrate the ability to:

Apply understanding of Academic Integrity including copyright, plagiarism, and fair use

Successfully navigate the library website to conduct research

Locate scholarly articles, books, and other resources relevant to an assignment

Distinguish between popular press and scholarly literature

Evaluate search results

Integrate research into a written assignment or presentation effectively

Document sources in a citation style appropriate to the discipline


Research instruction provided for students enrolled in 200 and 300 level courses is tailored specifically to address course assignments.  Students work with specialized databases and resources unique to the subject and discipline of the course.  They have opportunities to interact with scholarly literature, grapple with challenging content, and learn how to glean relevant content from empirical research findings. 

Intermediate level students will demonstrate the ability to:

Identify and use specialized reference sources in the major field, e.g., subject dictionaries 

Use special features of subject databases, including controlled vocabulary, limiters, etc.

Use appropriate style manuals and/or citation style formatting software

Identify and use sources specific to the major subject, e.g., case studies, surveys, polls, statistics, fieldwork

Use standard criteria to evaluate and select resources suitable for upper-division work

Use research collections beyond the local library when needed

Apply ethical and legal principles to the use of information in all formats and contexts 

Understand the style, structure, and components of a scholarly article


At the senior capstone level, students are challenged with a culminating project that capitalizes on 4 years of undergraduate coursework and research.  Emphasis is placed on consulting a broad and extensive array of scholarly sources, and delivering the content in a well-organized and coherent manner.  

Capstone Level students will demonstrate ability to:

Intelligently and capably utilize research literature generated and disseminated in their major area of study

Observe guidelines and standards endorsed by the discipline/profession, e.g., human subjects research 

Perform cited reference searches in order to follow a research topic forward and backward in time  

Conduct a comprehensive literature review for papers/projects, including books, journal articles, dissertations,  technical reports, non-print media, etc.


Contact your library liaison to schedule a class.  Questions? - Contact Kristen Hindes

Library Liaisons
Subject Librarian Phone
American Studies Stacey Knight 802.654.2402
Anthropology Bethany Dietrich 802.654.2410
Applied Linguistics Laura Crain
Archives Elizabeth Scott 802.654.2540
Art Anthony Bassignani
Astronomy Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Biology Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Business Bethany Dietrich 802.654.2410
Chemistry Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Classics Anthony Bassignani
Computer Science Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Economics Bethany Dietrich 802.654.2410
Education Kristen Hindes 802.654.2590
English Laura Crain 802.654.2388
Environmental Studies Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Gender Studies Laura Crain 802.654.2410
Geography Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Global Studies Anthony Bassignani
History Stacey Knight 802.654.2402
Humanities Anthony Bassignani
Intensive English Program Anthony Bassignani
Literature -- Juvenile Kristen Hindes  802.654.2590
Mathematics Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Media Studies Bethany Dietrich 802.654.2403
Medieval Studies John Payne 802.654.2401
Modern Languages Anthony Bassignani
Music Anthony Bassignani
Peace and Justice Anthony Bassignani
Philosophy Anthony Bassignani
Physics Steve Burks 802.654.2354
Political Science Bethany Dietrich 802.654.2403
Psychology Kristen Hindes 802.654.2590
Reference Anthony Bassignani
Religious Studies Elizabeth Scott 802.654.2540
Sociology Bethany Dietrich 802.654.2410
Theatre Anthony Bassignani
Theology Elizabeth Scott 802.654.2540


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