Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Patricia S. Davidson

Second Advisor

Arthur B. Millman

Third Advisor

Carol L. Smith


Library research is a thinking process composed of discrete, identifiable critical and creative thinking skills. These skills may be taught in school libraries as part of the reference interview, a conversation that occurs between librarians and student researchers. In order for this to take place, it is first necessary to understand the political importance of the definitional problems associated with the instructional role of the school librarian, to identify the steps in the research process and their related thinking skills, and to acknowledge the cognitive and affective aspects of the research process. School librarians who wish to include teachings part of their dues often face a problem of role definition. Simply stated, they must convince the teachers and administrators of their school systems that this is a valid role by lobbying for their cause and demonstrating the effectiveness of their teaching expertise. One solution to these political and pedagogical problems is the deliberate construction of a library reference interview integrated with discrete critical and creative thinking skills. The success of this interview depends upon the librarian's own clear understanding of the steps in the research process and the identification of appropriate thinking skills. It also relies heavily upon the librarian's assessment of the student's abilities, interests, and attitudes used to determine the course of the interview and to identify the thinking skills required by the research project that the student wishes to undertake. This thesis concludes with the presentation of model dialogues. These examples are composites draws from actual experience and are designed to illustrate the practical application of critical and creative thinking theory to library research.