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Information Literacy Program at Decker Library

A toolkit for MICA's Information Literacy Program


About This Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is for FF161 - Drawing: Tradition & Innovation's orientation for a class project asking students to:

  • discover an art tradition that can be interpreted through drawing
  • research and create a 10 minute presentation on the tradition
  • create artwork/s to explore this tradition in the context of their own artistic practice and interest

Instruction in the library takes place in one 75-90 minute session and is aimed at having students do catalog searching for a book related to a tradition that interests them, to study the book and derive key words from it for use in a second search, and to create citations for both books.

The goal of this session is to be very student-driven, so the instructor should lecture as little as possible and instead engage in conversation throughout the session.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, students will be able to:

  • use the library catalog to explore a topic
  • find books in the library
  • seeing research as exploration, use a book to generate key words to go further with the research
  • cite sources in Chicago and MLA styles

Before the Session:

Several days (up to one week) before, contact the faculty person and request that they:
1- take an active role in the discussion of "what is a tradition" that happens at the beginning, based on their previous explanation of the project and their understanding of the students' interests.
2- contact students ahead of class and ask them to bring laptop computers to class that day, if they have them.

Setting up if the session is in the classroom
Create one large table with seating for 20 students. Bring out all of the laptops.

Setting up if the session is in the screening room and library tables
Reserve all the tables in "quarto" for the class to use.
Fold up tables in screening room (or take them out) and make rows of chairs for 20 students. It may be necessary to bring some wooden chairs in to the room.

For either location
Print out 22 copies of the worksheet (2-sided) and 22 copies of the feedback sheet.


Instruction Session

In the Classroom:

- Set up the laptop for projecting, and plug it in, since the class will last longer than the battery!
- Set up 5 individual tables with 4 chairs around each one.
- Lay out laptop computers for the students.
- Lay out Worksheets and Feedback sheets at each spot.

In the Screening Room:

- Set up instruction laptop to go through the introductory presentation; it is helpful to bring the black podium in to work from. Plug the laptop in since the class lasts longer than the battery.
- Students will move out to the reserved tables in "Quarto" to do the activity, using Library computers and their own laptop computers.
Lay out Worksheets and Feedback sheets at each spot (or pass them around once the students are seated).


Presentation and Activity

  1. Launch the Google Slides presentation.
  2. Ask students "What is a tradition in art & drawing?" and ask them to discuss at their table (in the classroom) or with 4 nearest classmates (in the screening room) then after 5 minutes ask them to share what came up for them. (10 minutes) (black slide)
  3. Go through the presentation examples, then show how to navigate to the LibGuide from the Library homepage, and mention that they can use it as a dashboard for their research. (5 minutes)
  4. Working from the LibGuide, explain the sections (, Google Art & Culture, survey books and selected examples)
  5. Use the "How to Research a Tradition" to outline steps they will do today (with the worksheet):
    - show the catalog search, mentioning call numbers, eBooks, and the "cite this" feature.
    - show a search in Art & Architecture Source, mentioning the full-text, emailing results, and "cite this" feature.
    - go to ARTstor and show how to register and log-in, then do a search and save an image.

    (20 minutes)
  6. Ask for questions.
  7. For sessions in the Screening Room, ask the students to leave their things in the room but bring the worksheets and move out to the Quarto tables. They should bring their laptops if they have them, and use the Library computers if they do not. In the Classroom, they can use their own computer or one of the blue ones.
  8. Ask students to follow the steps on the worksheet to find a book, a journal article, and images in ARTstor - some of the students will start with or Google. Let them explore and go around to help with finding books in the stacks and answer any questions. (55 minutes for the 90-minute classes, 40 minutes for the 75-minute classes)
  9. When there are 5 minutes left, ask students to complete the Feedback sheet and take any last questions.
  10. Collect the Feedback sheets. Students can take their worksheet with them!
  11. Follow up on any questions that students write on their feedback sheets.

Decker Library at the Maryland Institute College of Art | Location: 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 | Mailing: 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

Research Help: 410-225-2273 / | General Questions: 410-225-2272 /

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