Library Requirement in General Education policy Revision

Reference Number: S81-78
Senate Approval Date: Thursday, January 01, 1981


Academic Senate Policy #S81-78


At its meeting of May 5, 1981, the Academic Senate approved the following policy:


1. In both the Written and Oral Communication portion and the Critical Thinking and Quantitative Reasoning portion of Segment I, the sentence:


It is also expected that courses in this portion will introduce students to the principles of research basic to the discipline offering the course, involving them in rudimentary library searches and analysis of data.


should be changed to:


It is also expected that courses in this portion will introduce students to the principles of basic research, involving them in rudimentary library searches and analysis of data as appropriate.


2. In Segment II, a sentence should be inserted following the first sentence of the introductory paragraph, as follows:


It is expected that, wherever appropriate, courses in this portion will involve students in library searches, introducing students to the library resources and strategies basic to the disciplines offering the courses.


3. To assure that all students have an opportunity to learn the basic undergraduate level library resources and strategies that will provide a basis for library use in Segment I and Segment II as specified above, each student should complete the self-paced instructional package prepared by the library faculty, or some equivalent library instruction, as part of the Basic Subjects requirement.  To provide a checkpoint to assure that all students complete the package or equivalent, the package or equivalent will be required in all courses in the Oral Communication portion of Basic Subjects.  Accordingly, in Segment I, a sentence should be added following the revised sentence in (1) above, stating that:


All section of all courses offered to meet the requirements of the Oral Communication portion will include the self-paced instructional package prepared by the library or other instruction on an equivalent level, to introduce students to basic undergraduate library resources and strategies.


4. To further assure that library research becomes a widespread and significant element of a student’s educational experience at SFSU, the passage of the self-paced library instructional “package” will be a pre-requisite of all Segment II and Segment III General Education courses.  Students enrolled in such courses will be required to present certification of having passed the library “package” in order to remain enrolled beyond the fourth week of instruction.  This requirement (No. 4) will become effective in the Fall, 1982.






The instructional package comprises a self-paced modular workbook that includes the following topics:  card catalog, reference books, periodical indexes, government publications, library tour and other library resources.  Some supplementary audio-visual materials are available.  Each module may be used independently.  Objective testing is provided for each module; neither the workbook nor the testing require class time.  The Library Reference Desk will provide assistance to students as needed.  The workbook takes about five hours for the average student; modules and tests may be repeated until mastery is achieved.


Objectives of the instructional package are:


  1. 1. An introduction to basic methods of locating books, periodicals, and articles, from a specific reference and by subject.
  2. 2. An introduction to basic types and purposes of reference books.
  3. 3. An overview and appreciation of research resources beyond books and periodicals, both on and off campus.
  4. 4. An orientation to library departments and service points.
  5. 5. A view of the literature as the accumulated knowledge of a discipline.


After completion of the instructional package, students:


  1. 1. Should be able to use card catalog and a basic periodical index and be able to locate books and periodicals in the library.
  2. 2. Should be able to choose and use the correct type of reference book (e.g. bibliography, almanac, dictionary) to solve an information problem.
  3. 3. Should be aware of other services, sources, and non-book materials such as government publications, non-print media, pamphlets, microforms, computer search services, interlibrary loan services, and community organizations.
  4. 4. Should be able to locate major library departments and service points and know the basic procedures for borrowing library materials.
  5. 5. Should have a rudimentary awareness of the correlation between the development and structure of a subject and the literature of that subject.