The librarians' goal is to assist students with their research and help them cultivate information literacy skills. These skills contribute to the ability to think critically and are vital for lifelong learning. In the process, we collaborate with faculty to engage students with inquiry-based assignments that prepare students to seek and use information wisely and effectively in their academic, professional, and personal lives. We teach and develop information literacy through the Information Literacy Program in the following ways:
- By collaborating and partnering with our colleagues from all departments and offices to integrate information literacy into academic programs.
- By promoting the use of library resources in all formats.
- By providing instruction formally or informally, in-person, or via technology.
- By evaluating the effectiveness of our approaches and constantly renewing our own skills.
What is Information Literacy?
Information Literacy at Saint Anselm College
Geisel Library assisted with the drafting of an information literacy learning outcome that was reviewed and adopted by Saint Anselm College as a college-wide learning objective in Fall 2012. This outcome will serve as a guideline for faculty seeking to address information literacy as a learning objective in their courses.
College-Wide Learning Outcome: Information Literacy
Goals and Objectives
Information literacy is defined as an integrated ability to find, evaluate, and utilize relevant scholarly and other resources, and to maintain high standards of academic integrity. Courses or assignments that promote information literacy should foster an appreciation for the complexity of the modern information environment; cultivate an understanding of how to effectively search for a wide range of relevant, high-quality information sources; and develop in students the ability to critically evaluate sources whenever seeking information to address an academic or personal need.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Formulate a well-defined research question with a manageable focus, and articulate the information needed to address it.
- Develop an effective strategy for seeking the needed information, and retrieve information from appropriate, relevant sources in an efficient manner.
- Evaluate information and its sources for issues like reliability and bias, as well as potential shortcomings such as flawed reasoning or methodological weakness.
- Synthesize the information to construct new ideas that address the initial research question, and communicate the information clearly and effectively.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues and social context related to information, including the importance of avoiding plagiarism and documenting sources appropriately.
Other Perspectives of Information Literacy
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education
In 2016, the ARCL board adopted the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which grew "out of a belief that information literacy as an educational reform movement will realize its potential only through a richer, more complex set of core ideas." The Framework identifies information literacy as an interconnected set of core concepts rather than a prescriptive set of concrete skills and may be used in conjunction with or in replacement of the older Information Literacy Standards.
Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
In 2000, the ACRL, a division of the American Library Association, produced a document that was seminal in defining information literacy. According to the this document, information literacy is a set of competencies enabling individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, access, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education).
Information Literacy Within the Disciplines
Since 2000, ACRL has also overseen the development of information literacy standards in specific disciplines.
ACRL released a white paper in 2017, "Global Perspectives on Information Literacy: Fostering a Dialogue for International Understanding" to share how information literacy is taught and understood in various countries.
Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals (CILIP)
CILIP Information Literacy Group
The CILIP Information Literacy Group is an organization that promotes the sharing and disseminating of all things related to information literacy. Their website provides users access to many different definitions and models of information literacy around the globe.
Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL)
The Seven Pillars
In 1999, SCONUL released the Seven Pillars model of information literacy, recognizing that information literacy development is not a linear process that is shared by all, but instead an individual path of skill development based on personal experience. A revised model was released in 2011.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
NEASC is charged with accrediting institutions of higher learning in the New England region. Two (4.12 and 4.15, p. 9) of its Standards for Accreditation (effective July 1 2016) specify that graduates successfully completing an undergraduate program should demonstrate competencies in the realm of information literacy.
- The Language of Information Literacy: Do Students Understand - by Gayle Schaub, Cara Cadena, Patricia Bravender, and Christopher Kierkus, College & Research Libraries, 78(3), 2017
- Information Literacy in the Disciplines - Links to articles and resources regarding info lit within specific disciplines.
- ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education