Information Literacy Grant

The University of Virginia Library is pleased to offer Information Literacy Course Enrichment Grants for the purpose of empowering students—from first-year to graduate level, in small classes or large ones—with research and evaluative skills that will enable them to discover and learn on their own, whether as students or as citizens.

Thank you for your interest in the Information Literacy Grants. The application deadline has passed. Grantees will be notified on Friday, April 28th.

Why participate in the grant?

Students have varying degrees of fluency in finding and using information, but generally they become more skilled as they move through the curriculum. They also need to understand the nuances of finding and interpreting information in a particular discipline—how is the information structured, who creates it, how is it valued, and how is this information key in creating discussions and arguments within that field?

In some courses, librarians offer single-session introductions to finding, understanding, and using sources; however, this one-time intervention often doesn’t extend far enough, include disciplinary nuance, distinguish between beginning and advanced students, or occur at the point of need.

Faculty participating in the grant will partner with a librarian to align information literacy skills with course content and pedagogical goals. Students in the course will gain skills and experiences that encourage them to effectively find, evaluate, manage, and use information. Additionally, they will be better able to articulate the relevance of information to problems across the disciplines.

Examples of course activities:

  • Engineering students compare their own collected data to data in the literature and benchmark their local observations against the broader pool; students look for applications of their design ideas in articles and patents to assist in prototyping.
  • English Writing students examine how popular and scholarly sources differ in terms of a singular global event over the course of 5-10 years. Students journal their perceptions throughout the course and showcase their findings in a culminating project.
  • Global Affairs students compare the needs of two cities or countries by using data from government and non-governmental organizations to extrapolate future requirements and usage of renewable resources.
  • Art students choose a work of art, research the historiography, and prepare an annotated bibliography describing and evaluating their chosen sources. Students share their work with another student to discuss, review, and revise their content.
  • Chemistry students collate articles related to weekly topics and assess for appropriateness for target audience, research design, data quality, and contributions to the cycle of scholarship. The culminating project is a NSF-style research grant.
  • Music history students examine both primary and secondary sources related to historical events and popular music of the time period. Students develop a digital exhibit showcasing and contextualizing their primary sources to demonstrate the effect of historical context on musical trends.

Who is eligible for the grant? How do I apply?

Full or part-time faculty in all disciplines who are teaching semester-long courses are encouraged to apply for Information Literacy Course Enrichment Grants.

Each grant will be $2500 and six grants will be awarded.

What happens after a grant is rewarded?

During the grant period, faculty and librarians will meet regularly to design a course that incorporates research and evaluative skills students need at the level and in the discipline for that course.

Beginning in May, librarians will work with grant recipients to identify sections of the course content in which to integrate information literacy skills and practice. Together, we will look at class readings, assignments, and core competencies and build in opportunities for reflective discovery of information, the examination of the production and value of information, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning. For fall semester courses, work will occur in the summer with an expected completion of Friday, August 11th. Work for spring semester courses will conclude Friday, December 1st.

If you have further questions about the grant, please email Meridith Wolnick at mwolnick@virginia.edu or Lucie Stylianopoulos at lws4n@virginia.edu and we’ll be happy to come to you to talk about the grant and its possibilities for your course.