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Information Literacy: Information Literacy

What is information literacy?

According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL),

"Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning."


"Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education", American Library Association, February 9, 2015. /acrl/standards/ilframework (Accessed February 23, 2018) Document ID: b910a6c4-6c8a-0d44-7dbc-a5dcbd509e3f


The entire Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education can be found on the ACRL webpage.

In summary, Information Literacy is when:

  1. A student recognizes that she needs information.  She explores sources to become familiar with a topic.  She modifies her question or topic into a manageable focus.  She identifies key concepts and terms.
  2. A student knows about the variety and types of formats of sources of information.  He identifies the value of resources in different formats.  He knows different sources are produced with different audiences in mind.  He can differentiate between primary and secondary sources.
  3. A student accesses information effectively and efficiently.  She selects sources of information that can best answer her question.
  4. A student critically evaluates information.  He extracts ideas from sources, and synthesizes ideas from multiple sources to answer questions.
  5. A student accesses and uses information ethically and legally.  He is aware of issues of privacy and security.  He uses the appropriate documentation style to consistently cite source.