Accounting students and information competence: evidence from course syllabi and professional accounting association competency maps.
Lowry, Linda Darlene
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As Brock University’s business liaison librarian, I have had some success integrating information literacy in the business administration curriculum. However, there have been very few requests for instruction in undergraduate accounting courses. Therefore, in the spirit of evidence-based librarianship, I conducted a syllabus study in order to gain insight into the library use and research expectations of accounting faculty for their undergraduate accounting students. Syllabi from 65 sections of 23 accounting courses were examined from the 2008/09 academic year. Each course section was assigned a level of library use based on a scale of 0 (no research required) to 4 (significant research required). Over 58% of all course sections required no research or library use and only 13% of course sections, mostly at the 400 level, actually required some amount of library use or research. These findings were compared to the expected professional competencies and proficiency levels as articulated by professional accounting association competency maps and an expectations gap was identified. As Brock University Library’s goal is to integrate information literacy into the curriculum, this evidence-based study will serve to open a dialogue with accounting faculty regarding information competence so that a course-integrated information literacy program may be planned and delivered in alignment with curricular and professional expectations.