Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




underserved students, information literacy, credit-bearing course, academic librarians, digital divide.


The need to equip society with information literacy (IL) has become essential, as evidenced by the 2016 and 2020 U.S. elections, COVID 19 pandemic, and QAnon. A deficiency in information provenance and credibility, combined with internet users’ poor information-seeking habits, has fostered the perfect environment for misinformation. In this atmosphere, higher education institutions (HEIs) must take the lead in developing a citizenry with the necessary IL skills to make informed judgments. The need to impart IL is even more crucial among the underserved student population (i.e., low-income, first-generation college students, and students of colour) who suffer from a deficiency in IL, because of the digital divide, when arriving at HEIs. The problem of practice (PoP) addressed here concerns the impact of Golden State Academy – Valley (GSA-V) not implementing an academic librarian (AL) taught IL credit-bearing course, crucial for its large underserved student population. GSA-V continues to underutilize its AL concerning the development of such courses, despite their expertise in IL and the literature demonstrating the positive impact on academic success. As a proponent of the critical paradigm, I envision this PoP as an opportunity for empowering marginalized voices. Using Kotter’s eight-stage process, combined with distributed and servant leadership principles, this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) proposes the development of an experimental AL-taught IL credit-bearing course. The aim is to utilize this course as an entryway for improving AL instructional roles and developing the IL skills of GSA-V’s underserved student population. The hope is that the experimental course can act as a catalyst for creating a general education IL requirement, thereby significantly increasing the reach and impact of such instruction.