Killing Two Birds with One Stone: An Information Literacy Lesson in Art History and Censorship for Non-majors


This poster session will consider the use of the history of art censorship in the United States from about 1930 until the present day. The purpose of this exercise in classroom teaching of information literacy is:

  • Students learn about U.S. History and art history.

  • Non-art majors learn about art without signing up for an art class.

  • The exercise shows works of art, and most students are image-oriented.

  • Students learn about a controversial topic which inspires discussion/debate.

  • The professor/librarian with degrees in art history and librarianship is able to utilize all her education. This allows her to engage the students.

  • The instructor presents a bibliography of works cited to demonstrate how to find resources for a research topic.

  • The end of the instruction session is open-ended; meaning technology such as Internet issues and the World Wide Web can be presented, or as this New York librarian has used: “Art after 9/11/01.”
  • This topic can also be used internationally, as has been presented in Canada. From this topic, copyright and intellectual property become an issue because students in information literacy classes are asked to make a Powerpoint presentation. Students learn how to access images from the World Wide Web and how to cite them.

    Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.

  • Evaluate information and its sources critically.

  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base.

  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  • Presenter:

    Susan Bissonnette
    Librarian for Information Literacy/Distance Learning
    Herkimer County Community College
    Herkimer, NY




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