Originally Presented at the 2023 Illinois Information Literacy Summit.


  • In an effort to create more student-centered and inclusive learning environments, instructors are using pedagogical approaches, such as students-as-partners (SAP), to bring student voices into the conversation about teaching and learning and to invite students to make meaningful choices about what happens in the classroom (Cook-Sather et al., 2019). Libraries can and should explore ways to incorporate SAP into our offerings (Salisbury et al., 2020). In libraries, student partners can become co-creators of information as they develop goals and curricula and bring interdisciplinary perspectives from across the institution to the development of information literacy (IL) programs. By inviting students into the pedagogical conversation, librarians can develop IL programming that is informed by authentic student experiences and is meaningful to students’ academic, personal, and professional lives (Boyd, 2014). In this session, presenters will describe efforts developing a new undergraduate IL research lab with students as partners. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the benefits, opportunities, and challenges of adopting a SAP approach to developing or informing information literacy (IL) programming. In this interactive session, presenters will take turns sharing our experiences developing an IL research lab and asking attendees to envision relevant scenarios at their local institutions with others in attendance. The presenters will share logistical and conceptual challenges, as well as insights and practical suggestions that have emerged from the collaboration. Attendees will consider examples of SAP in different kinds of IL programming before evaluating opportunities to invite students to make meaningful contributions to their current or future programming. Attendees will leave this session with at least one actionable strategy for bringing students as partners into the development or refinement of IL programs at their institution.

By participating in this session, attendees will be able to do the following:

· Describe the benefits of involving students in the development of IL programming.

· Evaluate opportunities and challenges for incorporating student voices into their current or future IL programming.

· Identify actionable strategies for students to contribute to the development of IL programs and instruction at their institution.


Students as Partners; program development; undergraduate research; Libraries; information literacy

Date of this Version