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Information Literacy  

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

About Information Literacy Print Page

About Information Literacy

Middle States Commission on Higher Education Definition:

Several skills, collectively referred to as “information literacy,” apply to all disciplines in an institution’s curricula. These skills relate to a student’s competency in acquiring and processing information in the search for understanding, whether that information is sought in or through the facilities of a library, through practica, as a result of field experiments, by communications with experts in professional communities, or by other means. Therefore, information literacy is an essential component of any educational program at the graduate or undergraduate levels.

These skills include the ability to:

  • determine the nature and extent of needed information;
  • access information effectively and efficiently;
  • evaluate critically the sources and content of information;
  • incorporate selected information in the learner’s knowledge base and value system;
  • use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose;
  • understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and information technology; and
  • observe laws, regulations, and institutional policies related to the access and use of information.

(p. 42, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education, March 2009)

Information Literacy Standards:

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

(Association of College and Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, Nov. 2012)


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