The present study is a phenomenological case study exploring how a group comprised of teaching librarians, faculty, and students experienced library instruction at the research site, Florida International University (FIU), in the context of the Framework for Information Literacy (IL) for Higher Education (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2016). The present study uniquely addresses a gap in the literature on library instruction and IL by using interviews with three diverse participant groups within the same setting. The 10 participants included three teaching librarians, three faculty members, two undergraduate students, and two graduate students. They represented a variety of academic levels and ranks from three discipline areas: (a) science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, (b) social sciences, and (c) arts and humanities. The participants provided a detailed picture of library instruction at the university from a variety of perspectives.
The present study used a constructivist epistemology and methodology, gathering the data from the participants in their own words to address the study’s research question: how does a group comprised of teaching librarians, faculty, and students experience library instruction at FIU? Data were analyzed using descriptive and axial coding. The shared experiences of the participants, at times converging, at times diverging, yielded insightful findings organized into several themes, including their experiences of the library instruction sessions, the perceived purpose of library instruction, the influence of library instruction, faculty and students’ relationships with librarians and libraries, and IL. The results have implications for the provision of library instruction in higher education, including both practical applications and potential directions for future research.
By providing a picture of library instruction from the perspective of the librarians who teach the sessions, the faculty who schedule them, and the students who attend them, the present study suggests how library instruction helps higher education students gain the IL expertise they need to succeed in their academic careers, personal and civic lives, and beyond.