What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”  (Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, © ALA, 2000)


Schedule Now:  goodsonlibrary@williamsbu.edu


Students Benefit From Library Instruction

Research Instruction Increases GPA and Retention (ACRL)

Studies indicate students who meet with a librarian for research instruction have higher GPA.

Studies indicate students who make use of library resources and services have higher retention rates and GPA.  (https://acrl.ala.org/value/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/VAL-poster.pdf)

Further Benefits of Library Instruction (ALA):

  • Students yield higher grades, academic confidence, and retention;
  • Students improve achievement on course assignments;
  • Student learning is boosted by library research;
  • Students acquire a common set of information literacy competencies in their initial coursework;
  • Student Increase in academic success is positively correlated to increased library usage;
  • Students increase core competencies in problem solving, identification and use of information, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement  (http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/issues/value/findings_y3.pdf)

Sessions and Workshops – Customize and Schedule

Schedule Now:  jmathis@williamsbu.edu

Information Literacy Sessions

  • College level research
  • Finding books and eBooks
  • Finding journal articles and databases
  • Evaluating resources – peer review, etc.
  • Evaluating resources to include media & digital literacy (fake news, predatory journals, etc)
  • Academic Integrity – avoiding plagiarism

Guidelines for Information Literacy Sessions

Partner with the instruction librarian for successful sessions:

  • Provide librarian with copy of research assignment and course syllabus so the sessions can be correlated to your class topic and goals;
  • Provide librarian with your expected outcomes and objectives of the sessions;
  • instructor to attend the sessions;
  • Schedule sessions during regular class meeting time;
  • Encourage student participation and questions during sessions;
  • Instructor encouraged to provide session feedback, recommended changes, or assessment to  librarian.

Interlibrary loan services are available to faculty, staff, and students.

Departmental Allocations

After the University Administration determines the library budget for a given year, the Media/Learning Resources Committee studies departmental needs for books and periodicals.  Based on this study, the committee makes recommendations to the faculty concerning how the books and periodical allocation will be divided among the academic departments.  Upon faculty approval of the Committee’s recommendation, the allocations are thus allocated for the given year.  Allocations may be requested for print and/or electronic books and serials, but not for electronic databases.



Faculty in each department may recommend new items to their Department Chair for approval, who will then forward said requests to the Library Director.  Periodical requests should be provided to the Library Director by September 15.  Order information and book (print or electronic) requests should be provided to the Library Director by December 1.  Book request cards or printed lists may be submitted.  Purchases are made at the authority of the Director of Library Services.


Periodical/Journal Guidelines

Databases.   Currently, most of the journal, newspaper, and periodical databases are provided by the Arkansas Traveler Program of the Arkansas State Library.  These databases are provided free of charge to all Arkansas citizens via the direct URL, and to all Arkansas libraries.  The vendor contracts are made every three years with a balanced cross of librarian types composing the selection committee.  The number and types of databases provided differ according to vendor contacts.

Felix Goodson Library attempts within budget allowances to supplement the WBU curriculum needs by subscribing to additional and subject-specific databases.  The selection of the paid supplemental subscriptions then varies each year according to WBU budget allowances and the Traveler-provided databases.  The MLRC budget allocations do not include paid subscription databases.

Before renewal of paid subscriptions, usage statistics are used to determine the value of the paid subscriptions.  Department Chairs are provided the statistics in order to collaborate with the Library Director in determining renewal, addition, or possible change of different subject database(s).  The usage statistics are also included in the Library’s Annual Report.

It is noted that databases do increase in cost by as much as 20% annually.  This is also a determining factor in reviewing renewal or new subscriptions.


Single Subscription Periodicals, Newspapers, Journals, Microforms, and other Serials.   Single subscriptions to print or electronic titles may be requested or renewed according to these guidelines:  Deadline September 15.

  • Titles shall be relevant to the mission, curriculum and higher education needs of WBU faculty, staff, and students
  • Renewal – usage statistics and cost are relative to value
  • No duplication of single titles within the current databases without justification
  • Recreational reading will be appropriate in content for WBU patrons
  • Single subscription titles are included  in the MLRC departmental allocations and requests should be made by September 15.


Book Requests

Book Request Guidelines:
Deadline December 1.

  • Title shall be relevant to the mission, curriculum, and higher education needs of WBU faculty, staff, and students
  • The department shall recommend or require student use of the title according to their curriculum and syllabi
  • Books may be print or electronic
  • Textbooks will not be purchased from Library funds. However, donated textbooks may be added to the collection at the discretion of the Library Director
  • Duplicate copies of exact titles will not be purchased without justification
  • Students may recommend books. Upon evaluation by the Library Director, said requests will be purchased when funds are available.
  • All requests should be made prior to December 1. Unused MLRC department allocations will be reallocated at the discretion of the Library Director.

Book Request Procedures

  • After approval of the Department Chair, book requests may be  addressed to the Library Director via a typed or written list or email, OR, by completing the printed book request card. (An Amazon Wishlist may also be used.)  Additionally, a submitable Purchase Request Form is accessible via the Library’s Web site.
  • Include as much bibliographic information about the title as possible:
    • Author /Editor
    • Title
    • ISBN
    • Publication Date
    • Publisher
    • Volume or series
    • Requesting department
    • Shelf location (stacks, reference, reserve)
  • Library staff will check for duplication prior to order/ purchase
  • When the books are received and made shelf-ready, the Department Chair will be notified. Additionally, the monthly New Selections list is posted on the Library’s Web site.

Course Reserve Guidelines:

  • Items may be resourced from the Library collection or as provided by the instructor.
  • All items are removed from the Reserve Shelf at the end of each semester.
  • The Reserve Shelf is located behind the Circulation Desk and student’s must use their WBU I.D. to checkout the item with a limit of one reserve item per use.
  • Journal articles may be posted to vCamp.  See “How to Post Database Journal Articles or eBook URLs to vCamp”.
  • Use the convenient form below or the paper form available at the Circulation Desk to request Course Reserves.

WBU Faculty, Administrators, and Staff may borrow from the Circulating Collection having a global due date at the end of each semester.

WBU Family members age 18 and over may apply for a Community Patron Card.

Faculty-Student Worker Proxy
Faculty may request proxy borrowing privileges to be extended to their student worker. Proxy privileges allow a student to borrow materials in a faculty member’s name with the faculty member’s borrowing privileges. The faculty member will be responsible for all materials thus borrowed; the faculty member should ensure that the student worker is using the privilege solely to obtain materials needed by the faculty member.  Please email goodsonlibrary@williamsbu.edu the student worker’s full name and WBU student i.d.  Proxy privileges are limited to one semester, with the renaming of the proxy each semester.

Persistent URLs, stable links, or durable links are Internet addresses that remain constant.  Most databases provide these links so that full-text articles, e-books (chapters and pages) can be posted in course management systems such as Vcamp or to email.  Because most are paid-for subscription databases with license restriction, they are not freely available to the public; therefore, proper linking of URLs is necessary for reposting for educational purposes.  All of the FGL databases are properly licensed for reposting to include proxy prefix:

Persistent URLs are provided by EBSCOHost, ProQuest, Gale, and JSTOR in the record detail.  Do not use the URL in the address bar!   The persistent or stable URL may be founder under “cite” or permanent URL links.  JSTOR provides the stable URL under the Title.

JSTOR  :  How to Find a Stable URL

EBSCOHOST : Persistent Links FAQ

PROQUEST :  Go to Abstract/Details tab; Look for Document URL.

Authentication credentials may be required:  Contact Library Staff  (870)-759-4139 or email jmathis@williamsbu.edu or jolive@williamsbu.edu.

What are OERs?

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights.”  (OERCommons.org/about)

OERs must:

  • Be digital
  • Be educational or research focused
  • Be freely accessible
  • Open access

Pros and Cons

There are many high-quality, peer-reviewed, scholarly research sources available in open source format – but it does mean that researchers have to pay extra attention to the quality of the resource and the publisher.  Many fake and fraudulent companies or predators are taking advantage of the open access format and purposefully scamming authors and/or publishing fake or misleading research.  Source evaluation is necessary.   The resources listed herein have been evaluated and recommended  by fellow academic librarians.

Open Textbooks

OER Collections

MERLOT     MERLOT is curated collection of over 65,000 free and open online teaching resources from the California State University System.

OER Commons    A massive collection of OERs divided by subject and grade levels. Includes over 40,500 college level resources.

OER Knowledge Cloud    Not so much a collection as a massive OER search engine. All journal articles, reports, books and other items are fully searchable and either pulled from the source or link to it.

Open Access Button    This search requires you to already have a citation, title, DOI, or URL before searching and scours the Internet looking for legal, open access versions of your requested article.

The Orange Grove    Florida’s open educational resource repository containing open collections, including courses and textbooks, as well as links to institutional repositories within the state.

Tufts University Open Academic Resources    High quality resources from all Tuft University schools, including research centers and hospitals.

unpaywall    Not a true database, but this Firefox and Chrome extension helps you find legally uploaded scientific articles from authors, publishers, and repositories themselves.

OER Courses

Useful as teaching and learning resources as well as text books.

Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative    27 free and open courses from Carnegie Mellon University.

Coursera    Massive collection of over 1,800 open courses from 145 universities and colleges around the world.

edX    Over 900 free online courses from partners including Harvard, MIT and UC Berkeley.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health    Search OER Commons’ collection of 82 courses from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

MIT Open Courseware    MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content.

Open Course Library    A collection of high quality, free-to-use courses that you can download and use for teaching. Hosted by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Open Education Consortium Courses    Search the OER courses offered by members of the Open Education Consortium.

Open Yale Courses    Free and open introductory courses from Yale University.

Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences    These “courseware modules” represent substantial portions of the resources provided to students who register in participating Penn State classes. These resources are available for reuse by teachers and learners worldwide who do not intend to apply for admission, register for classes, or pursue a certificate or degree at Penn State.

Tufts Open Courseware    Open courses and materials from Tufts University. Some courses may be missing some information as not all material could be made open access.

Creating Your Own OER

iTunes U (Apple Products Only)    iTunes U provides everything an instructor needs to bring their classroom together on iPad—build lessons with apps and your own materials, collect and grade assignments from students, discuss one-on-one or in groups, and annotate PDF assignments.

MERLOT Content Builder    Create OER materials with MERLOT Content Builder. Requires a free member account to create materials.

OER Commons Module Builder    Use Module Builder to create interactive modules for higher education.

OER Commons Open Author    Open Author lets you combine text, pictures, sound, files and video. Saved as openly licensed educational resources, you can share them with friends, colleagues and educators from around the world. You can also print and download your resource as a PDF, as well as download all included media.

Open Attribute    A Mozilla plug-in, Open Attribute helps you identify and copy the correct attribution for any CC licensed work.

Pressbooks    Book writing software that lets you create books in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats as well as print-ready files. Free version includes the Pressbooks watermark. Pay to upgrade and remove the watermark.

Zotero    Zotero is a browser add on that help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It allows you to store your content to view later, organize resources into groups and export bibliographies. For more information, please visit our Zotero guide.

Free Images

Below are websites that provide free high-resolution images that you can use to create your OER.

Note: One thing to pay attention to is that many of these, because they’re free, have ads for other pay-to-use image sites. Just pay attention and make sure you are looking at free content and not ads.

Unsplash    All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.

Pixabay    Over 960,000 images released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.

Superfamous Studios    A small collection of gorgeous photos under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, meaning you can use the photos as long as credit is given and you don’t change them.

picjumbo    picjumbo has a large college of free stock photos as well as a premium section you can subscribe to. But don’t worry, there are plenty of amazing photos in the free section.

Gratisography    Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures added weekly! All pictures were photographed by Ryan McGuire and free of copyright restrictions.

Morguefile    Over 350,000 high quality, high resolution photos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

Vintage Stock Photos    Free older photos, most between 40 and 80 years old. Free to use, even in commercial uses, as long as the photo itself is not the main selling point (for example, you can’t make a t-shirt out of the photo). A free account is required to download photos.

FreeImages    Nearly 400,000 free images that you can use for your projects with limited restrictions (can’t sell the image, can’t be used in logos or trademarks, etc). Most OERs should qualify under their license. However, make sure to check their license agreement at http://www.freeimages.com/license. Requires a free account to download images.

Image Editing Tools

Pixlr    Choose between an online photo editor, desktop editor, and web apps. Use Express for a quick version or Editor for a Photoshop-similar experience.
Mobile versions:   Android        iTunes        Windows

Adobe Photoshop Express    Quick editing that allows you to share your photos across multiple social media platforms.
Mobile versions:   Android        iTunes        Windows

FireShot    FireShot is a browser extension that allows you to copy all or part of your screen and allows you to edit, save, or upload your final image. This is the main tool I use when doing screenshots for my guides. Avoid the free Pro trial.
Browsers:    Chrome      Firefox       Opera

Photobucket    Apply filters, frames, stickers, text, or crop and resize your photos in just a few minutes.
Mobile versions:   Android        iTunes        Windows

Gravit Designer    Gravit Designer is a full featured free vector design app right at your fingertip. It is available for different platforms including Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome and the Web. Comparable to Adobe Illustrator.

GIMP    GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done.

Krita    Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

Inkscape    Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It’s free and open source. Comparable to Adobe Illustrator.

Presentation Tools

Google Docs    (Provided with your WBU gMail account) Create and edit web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Store documents online and access them from any computer.
Mobile versions:    Android       iTunes       Windows

Google Charts    Use Google Charts to create interactive charts and displays for your website. Posts data in real time.

OpenOffice    A downloadable open-source office suite similar to Microsoft Office. Includes Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw and Base.

Vizualize.me     Create infographic resumes for free.

Thinglink     Create interactive images and videos. Add links, text, video, or audio to images and videos to create richer experiences and provide more information.
Mobile versions:  Android       iTunes

emaze    Create online presentations, websites, blogs, ecards & photo albums. Free .edu plan includes two presentations and five websites. Sign up with your .edu email.

Prezi    Create beautiful, engaging presentations that uses motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to bring your ideas to life. Prezi offers several pricing options, including free options for those with an .edu email.  You can also combine audio files created in Audacity with your Prezi presentations!

Lucidpress    A web-based drag and drop publishing app. Create stunning content for print and digital. Has several pricing tiers including a basic free version and a fuller free education version (sign up with your .edu email).

Poster and Infographic Tools

easel.ly    Easy web tool to create free infographics. Choose from a large collection of templates or start from scratch.

Piktochart    Easy-to-create infographics. Requires very little effort to produce beautiful, high quality graphics. Has a free and subscription versions; but free version is still powerful.

Venngage    Another free infographic maker. Includes maps, charts, icons, and templates. You can even add animation to your graphics. Free version does have some limitations in the number of infographics you can make, but it should work for most applications.

Infogr.am    Create interactive charts and infographics than can be uploaded on your website. Has two paid options, but free version should work for most applications (free version contains more than 30 chart types).

Video and Audio Tools

Lightworks    Highly praised video editing software that creates professional-quality videos. It’s fast, flexible, and packed with effects and tools to help you make the most of your clips. Must be downloaded to use. Register for a free license! (Note: there is a paid version with more effects and tools, but you should find the free version very useful).

VSDC Free Software    Free video software that allows you to edit video files and create videos of all types. It supports the most popular video/audio formats and codecs, including DVD, HD and GoPro videos. Preconfigured profiles make the creation of videos for various multimedia and mobile devices a snap. Scroll down to download the screen recorder and video capture tools.

Audacity    A free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.

WeVideo    Free online video maker and editor. Edit, collaborate, and share across iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromebook, MAC, PC.
Mobile versions:  Android       iTunes

Screencast-O-Matic    A free, fast screen recording app that allows you to create a video file, download, or share on YouTube. Free version limits video to 15 minutes.

Amara    Amara’s award-winning technology enables you to caption and subtitle any video for free. For larger subtitling projects the platform makes it easy to manage teams of translators. And you can always purchase high-quality captions or translations from our passionate team of professional linguists.

Dotsub    Dotsub is a browser based, one-stop, self contained system for creating and viewing subtitles for videos in multiple languages across all platforms, including web based, mobile devices, and transcription and video editing systems. It’s easy to use, nothing to buy or download, and it’s fun. You can upload your videos, transcribe and time caption them, translate them into and from any language, and share them with the world.

Subtitle Horse    Subtitle Horse is an online subtitle/captions editor. To translate a video simply put in the URL of your file (mp4, ogv, webm, flv, youtube) video and click the submit button. After you finished you can export your subtitles in different formats (VTT, SBV, timedText, SRT, Encore).

Polls and Scheduling Tools

Poll Everywhere    Real time polling that allows users to text their keyword or code to vote. Includes Live PowerPoint polls, web responding, widgets, Twitter, downloadable results, and more. Free version allow unlimited polling with a maximum of 25 participants per poll.

Socrative    Students share their understanding by answering formative assessment questions in a variety of formats: quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races. Once students join the teacher’s room via the teacher’s unique code.
Mobile versions (choose between teacher or student, then select your device).

Doodle    Web based scheduling tool. Has three pricing tiers including free version. If you need customized branding or other premium benefits, ask for a 50% education discount (free version works fine for me).
Mobile versions:  Android       iTunes       Windows