Service-Learning and Civic Engagement

Library Support for Teaching and Learning

Your librarian can provide support to  faculty at each stage of service-learning pedagogy.

At the level of course development, your librarian can:

  • help identify courses and projects from other universities and communities,
  • assist in locating data about the community
  • locate and obtain relevant readings and videos,
  • develop an information literacy program that will give your students tools that will be useful for both the academic and service components in the class,
  • provide a rubric for evaluating the progressive development of your students' ability to find, assess, and use information relevant to both the academic and service components of the course.

During the course, your librarian can:

  • provide classroom and computer lab instruction on finding reliable information to support their academic class assignments.
  • provide classroom and computer lab instruction that teaches students to go beyond finding scholarly literature to identifying other types of information their communities need to achieve their goals: city, state, and federal data, policy documents, and primary sources for local histories
  • consult with students during their service projects to help them identify the information needs of the community

In working with the librarians, university students gain information-seeking skills and the ability to evaluate information for reliability and relevance. In service learning courses, we add the experience of using that information in contribution to community projects. Ideally students would then be able to assist in obtaining reliable information useful to their communities' projects such as grant writing and reports, and in the dissemination of community information in public forums, news reports, and social media.

For books on the basics of service-learning and service-learning in your discipline, see Service-Learning Pedagogy.