Information Literacy Curriculum

According to the American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Information Literacy report, an information literate person is one who is “able to recognize when information is needed,” knows what information is needed to address a given problem or issue, and, beyond that, has “the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information” (Presidential Committee, 1989).

According to the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) from Academic, College, and Research Libraries (ACRL), an information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

In other words, information literacy includes knowledge of the research process, skill in using resources, critical thinking about them, and an appreciation of proper documentation of sources.  It also expands to include knowledge of how information is created and produced, disciplinary standards about the use of information, and computer literacy in the communication of that knowledge.  It is interdisciplinary in general, though disciplinary at the upper division level. 

 

Librarians partner with faculty to teach information literacy in a variety of ways.

 

  • The History and social science programs require a course on information literacy (SSCI 3005) taught by librarians.
  • The Honors program requires a junior-level course, HONS 3500, that incorporates writing and research skills to prepare students for their senior Capstone Thesis.  This course is team taught by Honors faculty and a librarian.
  • Other courses on request.  Librarians teach on average 80 sessions per semester for department instructors on request.  This robust program allows information literacy to be incorporated into Freshman Composition, General Education, and upper division courses when research assignments are required.
  • Most graduate programs include information literacy instruction by librarians to enhance instruction in primary resources, discipline databases, correct citation, and correct formatting of the thesis.