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Information Literacy - Students  

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Information Literacy?

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    The National Forum on Information Literacy, an international collaborative of national and international organizations originally established by the American Library Association (ALA), defines Information Literacy as “the ability to know when there is a need for information, to identify, locate, synthesize, evaluate, and use effectively that information for the issue or problem at hand.. Simply put, information literacy is the key competency needed to enhance K-16 academic performance, engage patient personal responsibility, improve workplace performance and productivity, and compete effectively in a dynamically evolving world marketplace."

    The Association Of College And Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the ALA, has created an information guide and framework comprised of  five standards and twenty-two performance indicators which addresses Information Literacy in Higher Education.  In their complete form, the standards list a range of outcomes that "serve as guidelines for faculty, librarians, and others in developing local methods for measuring student learning in the context of an institution’s unique mission."  

    The following is an abbreviated form of these standards:  (For the complete version, click  ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education)

    ACRL Standards    

    Standard One: Determine the nature and extent of the information needed.

    Standard Two: Access needed information effectively and efficiently.

    Standard Three: Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into knowledge base and value system.

    Standard Four: Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

    Standard Five: Understand ethical, legal, and socio-economic issues surrounding the use of information. Use information legally and ethically.


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