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Information Literacy and Learning Resources
Alex Koohang defines information literacy as “the set of skills needed to articulate an information need, and subsequently, find, retrieve, analyze and use appropriate information to meet that need.” Information literacy, then, includes the use of and access to technology, the ability to utilize software, the discernment of information, and the citing of information that is included in new product. The goal of the seminary is to develop ministers for the city and the world who have the skills necessary for accessing and negotiating a broad range of information systems.
Information Literacy at NYTS provides a wide range of services and resources that allow a student to develop the necessary informational skills for a modern ministry.
Information Literacy provides resources in the following areas:
- Library and computer negotiation skills
- Research methodology
- Questions about citations and proper formatting
- Help with the development and writing of research papers
All graduate students have full checkout privileges to all libraries in the Columbia Library system except the education, medical and law libraries. The Columbia Library system is one of the largest libraries in the United States, with over 8 million volumes. Among the libraries is the Burke Library, the largest theological library in the western hemisphere.
The Information Literacy department provides tours of the library and library training to all NYTS students. In addition, the Director of Library Services at NYTS also serves as the evening reference librarian at the Burke Library, from 4-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students are encouraged to make use of the reference library in order to learn how to utilize the library.
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is the largest public library in the United States, with almost 7 million items in its collection, and is a vital node in the NYTS information system. A NYPL library card is mandatory, and all students are entitled are entitled to a NYPL library card, whether or not they are residents of New York state.
The NYPL is especially important to our students, as it provides a wide range of journals that can be accessed from a student’s home or work place. Works that are not available at the New York Public library can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan, a service that borrows books from other libraries. In addition, as NYPL is a member of Metro, a large network of libraries in the metropolitan area, students can obtain a Metro card, which will allow them to use books at other libraries.
NYTS Library Website
The NYTS library website at www.nyts.edu contains a large range of online resources.
- Library Catalogs: Links to Columbia Libraries as well as other important libraries, including Korean libraries.
- Resources on the Web: A wide variety of free resources are available on the web, including Biblical Tools, Government, Korean Resources and Internet Search Engines.
- Other Resources: Additional resources such as Online Theological Resources, Free Online Journals, and Turabian Formatting Information.
- Distance Learning courses and course information, including syllabi, and class reserve materials are available through Moodle, the online distance learning system at NYTS. Since all classes utilize Moodle, if only to display the syllabus of the course, all students receive training in the use of Moodle
- All students are provided email accounts upon arrival at the seminary. Professors will communicate with students using this email system through Moodle.
Library Research Training
As part of Introduction to Theological Education in the MDiv, MAPCC, and MARE programs, and as part of the opening session in all DMin programs, all students will receive instruction in both the Columbia and NYPL library systems as well as training in the use of Moodle. Required training will take place in the first month of school. Additional training can be arranged on a one-to-one basis with the Director of Library Services at any time during the year.
In addition to an orientation to the library in the first week of each fall semester in all programs (except MPS in Sing Sing), students may register for courses in library research, which are offered every year. The Director of Library Services is also available for individual consultations on research procedures. Students may make appointments to learn research methodologies and research paper design, as well as the mechanics of computer-based research.
All entering students in the MDiv, MARE, and MAPCC must produce a writing sample during the opening orientation in the fall semester. The results of this sample will determine whether a student has a need for remedial writing. If it is determined to be the case, students will be required to take a writing course with the writing professor. All students from foreign countries who do not take the TOEFL exam beforehand will automatically be enrolled in this course. Students who need to develop their writing skills may also enroll for the course.
Any student can utilize the writing professor to develop their writing and communication skills. The Director of Library services also provides writing training. Students are encouraged to work with the director at any stage of the research and writing process.
The citation system that is required at NYTS is Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. All students should obtain a copy of the guide when they enter the seminary. The Director of Library Services is the contact for any questions about the citation method. Students are welcome to submit their papers to the Director of Library Services before they hand them in, in order to make sure that citations and bibliographies are done correctly.
Computer Skills Enhancement
All students who attend the seminary should have access to a computer in order to do their work. As many older students may be unfamiliar with computer usage, individual computer training can be requested of the Director of Library Series. In addition to one-on-one training, the Director will offer courses to small groups in computer usage and computer based research on an as-needed basis.
 Alex Koohang, Keith Harman, and Informing Science Institute, Learning Objects and Instructional Design (Santa Rosa, California: Informing Science Press, 2007), 370.