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Faculty Guide to Information Literacy: Home

Information Literacy

Wordle: information literacy

What Can the Library Do for Me?

  • Provide research instruction tailored to your class and designed to support your intended learning outcomes.
  • Collaborate with you on assignment design to maximize your students' information literacy skill development.
  • Create Research Guides customized for specific courses or on particular topics.
  • Teach students ethical information use, including acceptable citation practice and avoidance of plagiarism pitfalls.

Contribution Note

This guide was originally created by Dr. Nancy Becker.

What Is Information Literacy?

"Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use the needed information."

American Library Association. (1989). Final Report of the American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Chicago: American Library Association.

Information Literacy Standards

Advantages of Using Standards in Information Literacy

  • Acknowledges information literacy as a developmental process.
  • Allows for reinforcement & extension of learning.
  • Encourages transfer of learning across the curriculum

Integrating Information Literacy in the Curriculum

Major Goals of Curriculum Integration:

  • Shift students' role from consumers to creators of information.
  • Move students beyond rote competency.
  • Encourage students to use information sources independently and in combination.

Current Approach from the Library's Perspective: Linking learning outcomes to the Information Literacy Progression Standards For Use in New Jersey Colleges and Universities. Suggested outline:

Freshman Seminar

  • Focus on EVALUATION of INFORMATION sources
  • Learning Outcome:   Students are able to distinguish between scholarly and popular resources (3.c).

Core Curriculum

  • Focus on ACCESSING INFORMATION effectively and efficiently
  • Learning Outcome:  Students are able to construct an appropriate search strategy (2.2).

Disciplinary Courses

  • Focus is on EVALUATION of INFORMATION derived from multiple and diverse sources.
  • Learning Outcome:   Students are able to determine relevance of information resources to need, appropriateness, audience, authority, reliability, currency and main point of view/bias (3.a).   

Library Instructional Services

Why Is Information Literacy Important?

"Within today's information society, the most important learning outcome for all students is their being able to function as independent lifelong learners. The essential enabler to reaching that goal is information literacy."

Breivik, P. (2000). Information Literacy and Lifelong learning: The Magical Pertnership. International Lifelong Learning Conference, Central Queensland University.

Why Should I Care About Information Literacy?

"Perhaps the most important thing about information literacy from the faculty perspective is that it makes for a better student. As a matter of fact, most faculty probably ASSUME students are information literate when they design their research assignments. Surely, this is nothing more than one would EXPECT a college student researcher to do, isn't it? But, ARE they doing it?" (Gail Gradowski, Santa Clara University, 2010). 

Some additional reading: