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Library Instruction: Information Literacy

This guide is designed to inform faculty and students about the library instruction program at LIU Post.

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is an intellectual framework for identifying, finding, understanding, evaluating and using information. It includes:

  • Determining the nature and extent of needed information
  • Accessing information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluating critically information and its sources
  • Incorporating selected information in the learner's knowledge base and value system
  • Using information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understanding the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and information technology
  • Observing laws, regulations, and institutional policies related to the access and use of information

(Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 2002 Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education)

Why is Information Literacy Important?

Information literacy is vital to all disciplines and to effective teaching and learning in any institution.

Institutions of higher education need to provide students and instructors with the knowledge, skills, and tools to obtain information in many formats and media in order to identify, retrieve, and apply relevant and valid knowledge and information resources to their study, teaching, or research.

Information Literacy Standards

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, has developed the following standards for information literacy:  

  • Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.  
  • Standard Two: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
  • Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
  • Standard Four: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  • Standard Five: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

For more information, please take a look at the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.