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Resources for Faculty: Information Literacy

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Information Literacy

What is information literacy and why should we care?

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA) that "develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community."

The ALA defined information literacy in 1989 as: Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. This definition led to the the development of a document called "Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education" which included suggested standards for teaching information literacy in all types of academic library settings.  This document has set the standards for academic librarians for fifteen years.  The ACRL updated the definition for information literacy and replaced the Standards with a "Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education" in early 2015.

The new definition for information literacy is:

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.

Dugan Library has taken the opportunity afforded by these updated frameworks to re-work our goals and mission for the work that we do in classroom visits, individual research consultations and all types of programs that we offer in the ibrary.  We're just getting started incorporating the new frameworks into the landscape of library services and value any input that you may have. 

Click this link to read the full Framework document. The ACRL special committee developed six frameworks that are critical gateway or portal concepts through which students must pass to develop genuine expertise within a discipline, profession or knowledge domain.  Each frame includes a knowledge practices section used to demonstrate how the mastery of the concept leads to application in new situations and knowledge generation. Each frame also includes a set of dispositions that address the affective areas of learning.