Foreword Merinda Kaye Hensley True learning is based on discovery guided by mentoring rather than the transmission of knowledge. —John Dewey Librarians consistently worry that we do not have enough, or the right kind, of opportunities to impact our students’ information literacy skills. On the positive side, some of us have been able to participate in crafting (inter)disciplinary student learning outcomes and curriculum develop- ment, and on the more common side, we struggle to piece together infor- mation literacy instruction through outreach, reference interactions, workshops, and the ubiquitous one-shot. We are creative and we are per- sistent however, our goal to provide students with meaningful learning opportunities while boosting their critical thinking skills around infor- mation literacy concepts is all too often thwarted. Stakes are high for our undergraduate students, especially with the cost of higher education rising exponentially. While future employment is the ultimate goal, as librarians we know the complexities of social, eco- nomic, political, technological, and environmental issues require vast information literacy and critical thinking skill sets, which are most effec- tively built upon a foundation of authentic learning. When undergraduate students engage in authentic learning they are “. . . more likely to be inter- ested in what they are learning, more motivated to learn new concepts and skills, and better prepared to succeed in college, careers, and adult- hood if what they are learning mirrors real-life contexts, equips them with practical and useful skills, and addresses topics that are relevant and applicable to their lives outside of school” (Glossary of Educational Reform, n.d.). In Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities (1998), the Boyer Commission called for a “radical reconstruc- tion” of undergraduate education, which included several elements:
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