How do you foster the development of foundational research skills in first-year undergraduate music students? This was the dilemma facing Vanderbilt University music librarians and faculty. Although first-year students take an introductory survey course in music literature intended to prepare them for the more demanding courses in the music history and literature core, they were not acquiring the basic information-literacy skills required to successfully complete research papers and assignments. A solution to this problem was to implement a four-semester integrated music information-literacy program that emphasized library instruction for first-year students. To promote the integral role of the library in student learning, the author embedded herself in all three sections of the initial survey course for first-year students. By attending all class meetings, teaching in-class information-literacy sessions, and evaluating assignments, students came to view the author as trusted partner in their educational process. The author details her experiences as an embedded librarian, examining the benefits and challenges of providing instruction to first-year students in this setting. The collaborative process between faculty and librarian in designing the information-literacy components is emphasized, and the tools used to evaluate student progress towards desired music information-literacy outcomes is shared. Also discussed is the importance of regular assessment of the information-literacy program, a process that resulted in revisions that improved the program.


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pp. 249-261
Launched on MUSE
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