The Critical Information Literacy Leadership Institute as Alternative to the One-Shot: Q & A with a Faculty Partner

Primary tabs

In spring 2021, the Pfau Library and Teaching Resource Center (TRC) at California State University, San Bernardino developed a virtual Critical Information Literacy Leadership Institute, which was meant to introduce the foundations and pedagogical applications of critical information literacy (CIL) so departmental faculty could teach it and advocate for its integration across campus. The institute was a new approach to faculty development at the Pfau Library, as it engaged a multidisciplinary team and incorporated leadership and advocacy training. Though some library-led workshops and activities had been co-sponsored by outside units, they had never been developed and led by faculty or campus leaders other than librarians. Such an approach asks that librarians give up, to a certain extent, 'control' over CIL on their campuses. While this might be uncomfortable for those who are understandably concerned about sharing their already miniscule institutional space and power with others, participants can benefit from a collaborative approach that leverages the strengths and experiences of those who are invested in CIL but 'live' outside the library. And because Gina Schlesselman-Tarango, a librarian, was an institute co-lead, participants still understood her -- and by extension, her colleagues in the library -- to be knowledgeable resources on all things CIL. Below, Monideepa Becerra, professor of public health and then-TRC director, addresses questions to expand on the initiative, illustrating how such an approach can serve as a viable alternative to the one-shot model of library instruction and can allow for the 'deeper learning, critical thinking, and inclusive pedagogy' that Nicole Pagowsky argues the one-shot can elude.