Information Literacy is more than mastering basic library skills. It is about developing information and technology competencies that foster lifelong learning. Information literate students are able to find, evaluate, and use information effectively to discover new knowledge, solve problems, make decisions, and become more informed members of society.
What is Information Literacy?
According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), information literacy is a set of abilities enabling individuals to "recognize when information is needed, and be able to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." https://alair.ala.org/handle/11213/7668. The Information Literacy Program at UCCS is based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. According to the five standards, an information literate person should be able to:
- Determine the nature and extent of the information needed.
- Access needed information effectively and efficiently.
- Evaluate information and sources critically and incorporate selected information into his/her knowledge base and value system.
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
- Access and use information ethically and legally.
In support of the Kraemer Family Library 2020 Strategic Plan, the Information Literacy Program (ILP) provides formal and informal instructional practices that empower students, faculty, and staff with the information literacy skills needed to be self-sufficient in finding, selecting, evaluating and using information. The overarching goals of the program are to:
- Deliver information literacy instruction at the introductory level and beyond.
- Offer a variety of learning opportunities beyond classroom instruction.
- Incorporate new technologies into the delivery of information literacy instruction.
Involvement of teaching faculty is integral to information literacy instruction. Through collaboration with teaching faculty, library faculty will be better positioned to integrate information literacy into the curriculum at the course and programmatic levels. "Librarians and teaching faculty share the responsibility for teaching information literacy, so that each teaches the skills that their credentials and background best qualify them to teach. Librarians are responsible for teaching enabling skills that are prerequisite to information seeking and knowledge acquisition across the curriculum, while teaching faculty have the responsibility of teaching skills that are required for subject specific inquiry and research." (Grafstein, 2002).
The primary emphasis of the ILP is on undergraduate students. The library offers a comprehensive, integrated, and systematic sequence of instruction at the undergraduate level to satisfy the UCCS Compass Curriculum Goal for information literacy. For more information about the program, see Information Literacy Skills Progression for Undergraduate Students.
Transfer students may enter the University as lower- or upper-division students. They may or may not be required to enroll in lower division general education courses where information literacy is emphasized. However, they may receive information literacy instruction in a variety of lower- and upper-division courses in the disciplines including courses that have been designated as writing intensive, and a capstone course in their major.
Graduate students arrive at the University with a wide range of information literacy skills. Librarians teach information literacy skills to graduate students through course integrated instruction at the request of the professor. In addition there are a variety of opportunities outside the classroom including research assistance at the library reference desk (face-to-face, telephone, chat, text, and email), research consultations with subject librarians, and workshops.
Faculty and Staff
Information literacy concepts and skills are important to faculty and staff for their own research and teaching. It is incumbent upon librarians to assure that teaching faculty and staff receive information literacy instruction through orientations, individual consultations, workshops, and promotion of existing as well as new library resources and services.
Grafstein, Ann. "A Discipline-Based Approach to Information Literacy." Journal of Academic Librarianship 28.4 (2002): 197.