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FYS-101 (Campus) Information Literacy Lessons 2023-24

This guide contains the information literacy lessons for the SNHU First Year Seminar FYS-101 course offered on campus for the 2023-24 academic year.

Welcome to First Year Seminar 2023/24 Information Literacy Lessons 

Information Literacy & the First Year Seminar

Cartoon of child saying his facts can't be all wrong because he copied everything straight from the internet.

What is "Information Literacy?"

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.

This definition comes from the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education This link opens in a new window created by the Association of College & Research Libraries. This document describes six core concepts or "frames" of information literacy for college students to understand to function well in our information-intense society. 

Which core concepts will we focus on in FYS?

The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education outlines the following six essential core concepts or frames. In FYS we will focus on the first two (in blue).

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Why should we develop information literacy?

We all conduct 'research' every day. The average person searches Google three or four times per day This link opens in a new window. Information literacy skills such as how to search for information efficiently and effectively, and being able to critically evaluate information and know which search result(s) to choose and use are essential to functioning well in today's digital society.

Employment in the 21st century requires people to be both consumers and creators of information and often to do so in collaborative spaces. The SNHU First Year Seminar engages students in learning critical thinking skills to consume and create information collaboratively focused on an expanded view of American History.

The information literacy lessons in this guide are part of your First Year Seminar designed to help hone your skills to build your final "Expert Panel Presentation" for the course. You will be learning how to search, find, evaluate, and use information from a variety of perspectives to be able to view and understand America's whole history. The essence of Information Literacy is understanding that all information is created in a context, and understanding that context is critical to using information for any purpose.

Example of "perspectives" to see the "whole" of history: Slave or Mistress?
Sally Hemings room at Monticello after renovations begun in 2017
Room of Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman owned by Thomas Jefferson
Image of NBC News tweet of Monticello and text calling Sally Hemings Thomas Jefferson's "mistress"
NBC News called Hemings Jefferson's "mistress"

In a story about changes being made at Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello, the Washington Post referred to Sally Hemings, the enslaved black woman who bore several of Jefferson’s children, as his “mistress”—a term that implies far more autonomy and consent than is possible when a woman is a man’s legal property. (New Yorker article This link opens in a new window, March 8, 2017)

The man who wrote the words 'all men are created equal' in 1776 was master of a 5,000-acre working plantation who over the course of his life owned 607 slaves... “Once you start to look at the details of the whole scene at Monticello — work, family life, punishment — it is richer,” said Lucia "Cinder" Stanton, who started working there in 1968 and wrote a book about slavery on the plantation. “It is so much better to try to see something whole.” (Washington Post article This link opens in a new window, Feb. 19, 2017)

FYS - Library Collaboration

The Director of First Year Seminar works with a Campus Faculty Librarian to develop and revise the curriculum for First Year Seminar each year. Please feel free to email the Campus Faculty Librarian questions about the content of this guide, or finding and evaluating sources for the research project. The Shapiro Library has trained student reference staff available by using the chat box in the upper right corner of this guide. Questions the trained student staff cannot answer will be escalated to the professional librarians in Research Support who will respond by email within 24 hours.