faculty services

information literacy

One of the fundamental services provided by academic libraries is the teaching of information literacy. Information literacy is a set of skills and concepts which include the ability to locate, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and use information from a variety of sources: books, journals, databases, government documents, and the World Wide Web.  Information literacy is essential for students to function in our information-based society. Academic librarians are committed to providing students with the research skills necessary for them to become lifelong information consumers.

Instruction Sessions

The primary method by which librarians teach information literacy is through course-integrated instruction. After consultation with a faculty member, a librarian designs an in-class session that meets the specific needs of the students in the course. 

For example, for PSY 320/Developmental Psychology, which requires an annotated bibliography, students are introduced to the psychological literature and databases. Emphasis is placed on distinguishing scholarly, refereed journals from the non-scholarly, popular journals; comprehending the purpose of an annotated bibliography and its components and applying APA style.

For each information literacy session, librarians create a course web page on the Library's electronic reserve system, ERes.  Information presented in the session is posted to the course web page.  Students have access to the information literacy web page for the entire semester through the Electronic Reserves link on the Library's homepage. 

Use our online form to arrange for course integrated instruction.

Or call the library at 610-902-8538.

Creating Effective Research Assignments

An effective research assignment has the following characteristics:

  • Clearly stated purpose

  • Well defined search strategy

  • Specified level of research

A clearly stated purpose shows students how the assignment is related to course subject matter and learning objectives and defines what level of research is expected.

A well defined search strategy is a step by step method for organizing the research project. The strategy includes the types of information to be sought, suggests the resources to be consulted, and stresses the evaluation of source material.

The specified level of research indicates the extent and depth of the research process. There are three levels of research. 

The first level is the description of the body of facts. At this level, students are recognized to be inexperienced researchers in need of training. The instructor should look for the following: ability to select material appropriate to the argument; ideas that are supported by research or named sources; inclusion of primary sources.

The second level is the analysis of a well-ordered body of facts. At this level students may be considered independent researchers capable of producing a major piece of creative work or a statement of experimental research and results.  The instructor should look for the following:  use of a well-reasoned research strategy; selection of appropriate research methods; identification of insights into developments in a particular discipline. 

The third level is the synthetic level which includes the discovery of original facts or the presentation of an original way of looking at a body of facts. Students at this level work independently to produce a substantial piece of work which shows knowledge of the general contexts of a discipline and offers an original contribution to the discipline. The instructor should look for work that represents the leading edge of research and is worthy of publications.

Alternatives to the Research Paper

Information literacy skills can be learned through various assignments. Consider the following as alternatives to the traditional research paper and ask students to:

  1. Write an annotated bibliography.
  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of a topic in scholarly journals versus popular magazines.
  3. Identify the print and electronic reference sources, databases, and scholarly journals in a particular discipline and an analysis of the contribution of each to the discipline.
  4. Identify key issues or scholars in a discipline.
  5. Compare two different discipline's presentation of the same topic.
  6. Write a literature review.
Information Literacy Coversheets

In order to help assess student information literacy skills at Cabrini, Holy Spirit Library has developed a standardized rubric for use by all instructors in core and major courses at the college.

In-Office Consultations

In-office consultations are available for faculty interested in learning more about the Library's resources and services, such as Turnitin ®, or one or more of the Library's databases. To schedule a consultation contact  Anne Schwelm, x8536 or  (aschwelm@cabrini.edu). 

Searching Cavalog

Quick Search

With the KEYWORD selection, you can view records containing the word(s) or phrase you entered.

With the BROWSE selection, you can view lists of author, title, subject, or series headings or view lists of indexed words used in the library catalog.

SEARCH EVERTHING (Keyword only): finds and displays all library materials containing the word(s) or phrase in any indexed field.

    1.   Enter the word(s) you want to find.

Keyword returns records containing the word(s) entered.
Browse returns catalog headings beginning with the first word entered.
Exact returns records that exactly match the word(s) entered.

  Choose a target search field.

Complex Search

Items in our Library are described in many ways. Use “keyword” to find all library materials described using particular words or phrases in a specific combination. You may enter words or phrases in one, some or all of the GENERAL, AUTHOR, TITLE, SUBJECT or SERIES fields. After typing in any one of these fields, press to move to the next area. When you press RETURN or ENTER in the last field, you will then see the location of every item in the library that includes each word or phrase you entered in the specified position. 

By selecting the OPTIONS button, you may limit the items found by author, title, subject, or general combination to a particular publication year, general or specific material type, library shelving location, language, or category.

AUTHOR: finds and displays all library materials using all or part of an author's name.
TITLE: finds and displays all library materials using all or part of a title.
SUBJECT: finds and displays all library materials using all or part of a subject.
PERIODICAL TITLE: finds and displays all library periodicals using all or part of a title.
MEDICAL SUBJECT: finds and displays all library materials using all or part of a medical subject.

Call Number Browse

An item's CALL NUMBER is a library code which identifies both the item's subject and its shelf position. To see a list of the call numbers in the catalog, enter all or the first part of a call number. The OPTIONS screen contains fields such as library, shadow, class scheme, item type, item category1, item category2, and location may qualify the call number browse. There are two different display results which may be configured on the OPTIONS screen. The result of a call number browse is a list of call numbers that begin with characters in specified. Each call number on the list shows title and author.

Liaison Program

The Library Liaison Program was begun in 2004 with the goals of:

  • Building effective working relationships between faculty and librarians
  • Improving library services
  • Enhancing the role of librarians as spokespersons for the library
  • Enriching the work of librarians

A liaison is a librarian formally designated as the primary contact between the Holy Spirit Library and a specific academic department. The intention is to provide faculty and students with the name of at least one person who can act as a starting point for questions about any service or issue. The role of the liaison is to foster two-way communication between the library and the college’s academic programs.

The liaisons:

  • Develop and maintain knowledge of information resources within a given subject area(s)
  • Initiate orders for materials
  • Select, evaluate, and monitor electronic resources
  • Notify faculty about new library services and materials of potential interest
  • Maintain on-going review of print and electronic serial subscriptions and options for alternative access
  • Provide support for accreditation review processes, new academic programs, and grant proposals
  • Evaluate collection strengths and weaknesses

Program method:

Librarians contact academic departments about Library services each semester.
End of the academic year, librarians provide statistics/data about usage of such services.

Business/MSL/MAcc Anne Schwelm
Communications Anne Schwelm
English Bobbi Jacquet
Exercise Science and Health Promotion  
Graphic Design and Fine Arts Elena Althaus
History and Political Science Elena Althaus
Information Science and Technology Elena Althaus
Mathematics Elena Althaus
Psychology Anne Schwelm
Religious Studies Anne Schwelm
Romance Languages Elena Althaus
Social Work  
Sociology Anne Schwelm


Borrowing Privileges

Holy Spirit Library

Full-time faculty have a one semester loan period for regularly circulating materials and one week for multimedia materials.   Part-time faculty have a  four week circulation period for regularly circulating materials and one week for multimedia materials. There is no limit to the number of regularly circulating items that faculty may borrow.   Contact the Circulation Department at 610-902-8538.

Other Libraries

In addition to borrowing privileges at Cabrini College, faculty may borrow materials in person from SEPCHE institutions, from member institutions of TCLC (Tri-state College Library Cooperative), and from participating PALCI members.  In all cases, faculty must present proof of Cabrini affiliation and must request a letter of introduction from a Cabrini librarian for use at TCLC and PALCI libraries.


Turnitin ® is a proprietary service that gives faculty the ability to aggregate student works into digital portfolios, to create an assignment calendar, and to post a web-accessible syllabus.   The plagiarism detection feature provides the option for either faculty or students to submit papers to the plagiarism detection service. 

For a demonstration or to begin using the Turnitin ® service contact Anne Schwelm, x8536, aschwelm@cabrini.edu

Copyright Policy

Holy Spirit Library adheres to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. 

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."  If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

The Copyright Act of 1976, Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include-

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code: Reproductions of Libraries and Archives for their Users, for Replacement, or for Preservation.

Reserve Desk

The Library accepts materials for the Reserve Desk based on the guidelines below. Please allow two working days to process materials.

Books, media and journal articles from the Library's collection will be placed on reserve at the request of the instructor. Reserve requests may be sent to Anne Schwelm. Instructors are encouraged to put Library items on reserve in anticipation of high demand for specific materials for class assignments, in order to ensure access for all students in the class.

Personal copies of materials are accepted for reserve. Barcodes, labels and security stickers will be affixed to each item. The Library is not responsible for damage or loss of such materials.

All materials will be removed from the Reserve Desk shelves at the end of each semester. Personal items should be picked up by the instructor.

The Library Director reserves the right to refuse items for reserve, if in her judgment the items do not meet the fair use provisions set forth in the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Section 107).

** Please note that materials not meeting the criteria for fair use may be accepted for the Reserve Desk if permission has been granted by the copyright holder.

Materials accepted for the Reserve Desk:

  • Books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, and videos.
  • Portions of books (up to 15% of total pages).
    **Please include copies of title and verso pages.
  • Photocopies of journal articles with complete bibliographic information.
  • Materials created by the Instructor for the course, e.g., syllabi, class notes, tests, presentations, etc.
  • Student-created materials accompanied by a signed consent form.
  • Materials accompanied by a permission letter from the copyright holder, such as:
    • Large portions of books, (over 15%)
    • Portions of books used for more than one semester Journal articles used for more than one semester
      **If the article is available on one of the Library's licensed databases, an electronic course page will be created in ERes and a link will be made to the article in the database. Permission for repeated use is not needed

Academic Book Review Sources

  • Resources for College Libraries
    • core list of recommended titles selected by subject experts, organized into 68 curriculum-specific subject areas
  • *Choice Reviews Online
    • includes over 115,000 reviews of academic books, electronic media and internet resources. Register for an online profile to access the personalized features.
    • *Library has purchased a site license for one user. If access is denied, please try again later.

Purchase Requests

The Holy Spirit Library welcomes purchase requests for Library materials from faculty, students and staff.  All requests will be reviewed by relevant Library staff members.  Within budget constraints and collection development policies, we will try to acquire requested items.

To suggest materials for purchase, please contact the director via email, jacquet@cabrini.edu, or campus mail with the following information: 

  •  type of material, e.g., book, journal subscription, database, CD, DVD
  •  author
  •  title
  •  publisher (if known)
  •  ISBN/ISSN# (if known)
  • your name
  • your department
  • your college status

Institutional Review Board

Faculty and students doing research may be required to submit to a review process that will ensure the best data, safety for participating subjects, and best research practices. The Institutional Review Board has a procedure in place for submitting and reviewing research projects.

For more information visit the Institutional Review Board's homepage.