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Information Literacy: Home

Explains concepts incorporated into what information literacy is and provides resources to support its teaching and learning.

Models for Information Literacy

Information literacy graphic                              Information Literacy Conceptual Understandings

Narrated Tutorial on Information Literacy

WPA Poster from the 1940s

For greater knowledge on more subjects use your library more often!
Courtesy of Library of Congress

Information Literacy (IL)

ACRL developed competency standards for IL for higher education which were adopted in 2000. These standards are also what the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric uses for assessment. They include these standards:

In January of 2016, the proposed revisions to the standards were adopted by ACRL. They include the following framework:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

To facilitate learning and research with the framework, ACRL has created a sandbox.

Alternatives to the Research Paper

If research is the objective and writing a paper isn't essential, try these alternatives!

  • Research log - have students keep track of what research they found and where they found it
  • Review update - have students take a published outdated literature review and update with new resources
  • Create a poster and host a poster session
  • Read the references - have students track down the references listed in a journal article
  • Review a book or article - have students read a book or article and write a brief review for it
  • Write an abstract for a book or article
  • Create an annotated bibliography 
  • Compare a scholarly article and a popular magazine article on the same topic
  • Evaluate and/or edit a Wikipedia article
  • Track down the research - have students use popular magazine articles that reference research and track down the original articles mentioned
  • Refute gossip - have students use non-credible publications or web sites and find research or facts that refute their claims
  • Compare sources - have students find several different kinds of resources for a topic (encyclopedias, books, articles, and web sites) and compare how the topic is handled differently
  • Compare primary vs. secondary - have students find primary and secondary research for a topic and compare how the topic is handled differently
  • Compare now vs. then - have students find resources from XX years ago on a topic and ones from now and compare
  • Follow research trends - have students find resources on a current topic at 5 or 10 year intervals
  • Create a brochure on a topic - students will be forced to be clear and concise
  • Trace a scholar's career - students follow a researcher's publications
  • Create a video - the Library has cameras the students can check out for doing this
  • Follow the law - have students follow a piece of legislation through Congress
  • Help others research - have students create a research guide on a particular topic - what resources, search terms, etc. are useful
  • Write an encyclopedia article on a topic complete with recommended resources
  • Have a debate - students research one side of a topic and then debate each other
  • Summarize and synthesize - students read several articles on a topic and present (orally or in writing) the findings from them
  • Write a proposal - have students write a research or grant proposal including research to support its importance

Collaboration and Advocacy

Students are best positioned to become information literate when the teaching faculty member and a librarian work together to create assignments using appropriate research resources, are taught how to effectively and efficiently find and use those resources in their academic work, and know how to cite them ethically.

Librarians would appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and can offer support in the following areas:

  • Giving feedback on research requirements for syllabi and assignments  
  • Offering lectures to students on finding resources and using them ethically
  • Providing individual help at the students' point of need at the reference desk