What exactly is information literacy??

“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.” – Association of College & Research Libraries.

Dr. Daniel Russell, a technologist who studies how people use Google to access information in a literate way, presents on “The Evolution Of Literacy. ” In approximately an hour, Dr. Russell speaks about how the electronic search system can change one’s understanding of reading, writing, and construction of knowledge.

In January 2015, The American Library Association launched an eCourse:Teaching Information Literacy To College Students. In the course, the instructor, Joanna M. Burkhardt, demonstrated how to create engaging and challenging content to help students learn how to correctly use online searching tools and techniques. Included in the course were ways in which to help students discover which sources of information are the most beneficial. To access more information about Teaching Information Literacy, you can refer to Joanna Burkhardt’s book that accompanies the course. Although the eCourse is not currently offered, it predicted to be available again in the future.

According to Temple University, there are five categories of percieved expected outcomes from students of an information literacy course. These categories include to ability to:

  1. determine the nature and degree of the information needed
  2. access information in an efficient and effective manner
  3. evaluate information critically
  4. apply the information effectively
  5. conduct infromation searching with an understanding of accompanying legal conditions (plagiarism, copyright, citations, etc.)

Courtney Kueppers reports that according to a recent survey (“Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey”), university faculty believe that their undergraduate students do not have adequate research abilities upon arriving to college. 54% of the particiapants reported that they “strongly agreed” to statements saying that their undergraduate students had poor information seeking skills. Faculty reported the importance of the library and its resources to helping students improve their research abilities. In sum, results from survey concluded that undergraduate students may need more direct instruction of how to effectively conduct research, and faculty are willing to put in the effort.

In an effort to improve student research abilities, professors have access to a variety of sources that can help in teaching the critical skills. The Temple University and Smith College Libraries contain a collection of information literacy resources for teachers and librarians. The websites also provide links to other online resources and book references for assessments, plagiarism, and conducting research. In addition, the Association of College and Research Libraries provides an extensive collection of resources and information on the “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.”

Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a large-scale, national study about early adults and their research habits, conducted in partnership with the University of Washington’s iSchool.” Project Information Literacy provides an extensive understanding of young adults’ information literacy abilities, lack of abilities, and patterns over time.

Please join us for our upcoming Tuesday, April 19th session on “ Teaching Information Literacy in the Age of Google.” Our esteemed presenters for the April 19th session include:

Cailin Brown-Department of Communications
Elizabeth Yanoff– Department of Teacher Education & Mary Lindner-Reference Librarian
Steve Black -Reference Librarian

Provisions’ sessions are held from 12:00-1:15 in Standish A&B. All are welcome and no reservations are required. Free lunch and refreshments will be available! Hope to see you all there!! 🙂


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