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Reference Services for Instruction

Information Literacy

In The University of Google: Education in the (Post) Information Age, Professor Tara Brabazon critiques “Google-based research methodologies,” noting that the popularity of a website – i.e. its position in a search-engine ranking – is no validation of quality.

She suggests that search engines foster research practices that are “derivative, fast and shallow,” so teachers must inspire students to explore, reflect upon, and evaluate other media – including books! – by creating an “information scaffold.”

With this cognitive infrastructure in place, students can avoid derivative, superficial  treatment of the ideas presented in textbooks, course readings, or through lectures and are better able to contextualize, evaluate, and critique material taught in the classroom and studio.

How can I get Involved?

Help students learn to create information scaffolds

At the OCAD U Library, we dedicate our work as librarians to information literacy; a strategy that enables students to confidently navigate research portals, decode sources, and critically evaluate information. For we firmly believe that critical thinking occurs when critical tools are used for research and information retrieval.

HOW? Contact our librarians ( to arrange an in-class library information session for your classes; seminars can be formatted for specific course assignments or based on a range of research themes such as:

  •  using research models as wayfinding devices for navigating the new information environment;
  •  using information to build a thesis, then activating these resources to structure critical writing or artistic creation;  
  •  learning how studio-based creativity can be a model for academic inquiry.

Other information literacy options:

  • VISIT the Library or Learning Zone for a hands-on exploration of our artists’ books, rare books, graphic novels, zines, or other special collections.
  • EXHIBIT artworks in the library space as part of our on-going Library Site Interventions and demonstrate how information literacy can be empowered by studio-based learning.
  • POP-UP BOOK MOBILE: contact us to arrange a subject-specific collection of library books to bring to your classroom or studio; with a valid ID card, students can sign out books on-site.
  • WORKSHOP: arrange a course-specific workshop in the classroom, studio, or library to integrate library collections into course assignments.