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Information literacy defined

Information Literacy Defined

SWITCH Information Literacy

1st Annual

Teaching In-Service, 2002

Information literacy defined

The ALA Definition

Information literacy is a set of abilities that enables an individual to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to effectively locate, evaluate, and use the needed information."

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

Information literacy defined

“. . . a new liberal art that extends from knowing how to use computers and access information to critical reflection on the nature of information itself, its technical infrastructure, and its social, cultural and even philosophical context and impact"

Shapiro, Jeremy J. and Shelley K. Hughes. "Information Literacy as a Liberal Art". Educom Review. 3.2. Mar./Apr. 1996.

Information literacy defined

Information literacy is the ability to locate, evaluate, manage and use information from a range of sources for problem solving, decision making and research.“

Bruce, C. and P.C Candy (1995). Developing information literate graduates: prompts for good practice. The Learning Link: information literacy in practice. D. Booker. Adelaide, AUSLIB press: 245-252.

Information literacy defined

  • Ability to utilize information technology

  • Knowledge of information sources

  • Knowledge of information-seeking processes

  • Ability to organize and control information

  • Ability to use info to develop a new knowledge base

  • Ability to use info to extend one’s knowledge base

  • Ability to use info wisely for the good of others

Information literacy defined

Understanding Info Lit

  • Faculty often confuse it with information management

  • Many associate it with accessing online information (not other formats)

  • Incorporates what we do now . . .the teaching of LIBRARY & RESEARCH SKILLSand more. . . .

The new reality
The New Reality

  • Multiple Catalogs and Databases

  • The Library and Its Various Resources

    • Print, electronic, some full-text, some not

  • The Internet as Its Own (Mega) Resource

  • Multiple Access Points

  • Many Other Access Issues

Why is information literacy important1
Why Is Information Literacy Important?

  • Equips individuals to be self-directed, lifelong learners

  • Goes beyond knowing how to use a computer or learning one specific interface

  • Highlights the global nature of information

  • Includes critical evaluation of information

  • Allows for transfer of knowledge

  • Allows for informed decision making

Information literacy defined


our students still need help!

What do we expect our students to know

What Do We Expect Our Students To Know?

Information literacy defined

What are the competencies or standards associated with being information literate?

  • Seven Faces of Information Literacy

Information literacy defined

or Outcomes information literate?


Two sets of competencies
Two Sets of Competencies information literate?

For State of Wisconsin

Information Literacy Competencies & Criteria for Academic Libraries in Wisconsin

Put forth by the WAAL Information Literacy Committee and adopted by the WAAL as ofOctober 9, 1998

Two sets of competencies1
Two Sets of information literate?Competencies


ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

These standards were approved by the Board of Directors of ACRL on January 18, 2000, at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association in San Antonio, Texas.

Information literacy defined

Working standards into the curriculum information literate?

  • Information literacy is not a discrete set of skills learned once, but a process of locating, organizing and using info

  • Represents a shift in thinking and use of libraries/info which must be reinforced on campus

  • Is crucial to creating a successful workforce for today’s jobs

Information literacy defined

Progress Integrating Standards into the Curriculum information literate?

  • National Information Literacy Survey (report documenting success/progress throughout the U.S.)

  • Emailed to 2700 institutions in May 2001

  • 710 institutions or 26% responded

  • Sonntag, Gabriela. C&RL News. (November 2001) 62 : 996-1001. Also at,

Information literacy defined

Highlights from the National Report information literate?

Types of Institutions, Definition of Info Lit,

Info Lit Programs & Implementation of

Standards on Campus

  • Most libraries have an accepted definition of information literacy

  • Many libraries now formally accept ACRL or other standards for their state

  • Many working to incorporate standards in individual classes

Information literacy defined

Highlights from the National Report information literate?

  • 80 of 664 respondents have a formal program

  • Many with programs under development

  • 123 of 710 have an info lit requirement on campus

  • 48% of programs in place, are 3 years old or less

  • 29% are 4-7 year old programs

  • Different campus groups working on this… but MAIN group for implementation of standards in curriculum is librarians

Information literacy defined

Alverno College Library information literate?

From Classes--Department--to Campus

  • Current classes & assignments

  • Good faculty contacts

  • Library class & assignment improvements

  • Our professional development as teachers

  • Identify WAAL “outcomes” for our classes

  • Web tutorial to complement our work and ensure certain competencies are met

How do we effectively teach information literacy

How Do We information literate?Effectively Teach Information Literacy?

A few techniques from the literature
A Few Techniques . . . From the Literature information literate?

  • Understand and plan for information literacy within the library first

  • Move beyond teaching techniques and tools to teaching concepts

  • Build upon what already works

  • Incorporate activities/active learning to motivate students and stimulate critical thinking

  • Collaborate with faculty to make both small and big changes

Information literacy defined

Use different modes of instruction
Use Different Modes of Instruction lit

  • One-On-One Reference Desk

  • In-Class or Group Instruction

  • Tours (in-person & online)

  • Instructional Web Pages/Web Tutorials

  • Library Guides (print or web-form)

Information literacy defined

Look at Model Programs lit

  • Florida International University (FIU) Program (Patricia Ianuzzi)

  • Earlham College Program (Tom Kirk)

  • CSU Information Competency Project

  • UW-Parkside Information Literacy Program

  • UT-Austin & TILT (Texas Information Literacy Tutorial)

The three to read in 2002

The Three to Read lit in 2002

Information literacy defined

  • Iannuzzi, Patricia. “Faculty Development and Information Literacy: Establishing Campus Partnerships.” Reference Services Review 26, 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 1998): 97-112, 116.

    2. Hardesty, Larry. “Faculty Culture and Bibliographic Instruction: An Exploratory Analysis.” Library Trends 44,2 (Fall 1995): 339-367.

    3. Bruce, Christine Susan. “The Phenomenon of Information Literacy.” Higher Education Research and Development. 17, 1 (1998): 25-43.

Acknowledgments Literacy: Establishing Campus Partnerships.”

  • Quigley, Jennifer. Rochester Regional Library Council. Information Literacy and Higher Education. (July, 2001).

  • White, Peggy. Information Literacy [Powerpoint presentation, 4/6/99]. University of Calgary Library.