Faculty & Administrators

Explore a quick introduction to Information Literacy for Faculty and Administrators.

Definition | Programs | Benefits | Participation


Definition

There are many detailed definitions of information literacy, but one of the most succinct yet comprehensive definitions is:

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." Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association, 2006. (Accessed 10 December 2012).

For students to be information literate, they need to know when they need information, how to find it, how to evaluate it, and how to use it effectively. See Introduction to Information Literacy for more information.

Programs

Most often information literacy programs originate in the campus library. The goals of these programs vary depending on the school. However, the common goal is usually to reach a large percentage of the campus population and teach them information literacy skills. These programs can include:

  • Multiple topics related to information including searching, evaluation, citation, plagiarism, copyright, etc.
  • Various teaching methods including group instruction, individual assistance, online tutorials, research courses for credit, handouts, etc.
  • Assessment elements to measure students’ skills and what they learn

Librarians are deeply involved in developing information literacy programs regionally and nationally.

Benefits

The more people involved with information literacy on campus, the more benefits there are:

Students

  • Improve their information literacy skills for college and beyond
  • Conduct better research
  • Connect to the library for help in future courses

Faculty

  • Spend less time teaching basic research skills and more time teaching content
  • Receive better research assignments
  • Grade students on their course content, not their research skills

Administrators

  • Information literacy programs can play an important role in accreditation
  • Assessment statistics provide benchmarks and offer insights into student learning

Participation

For successful implementation, information literacy programs depend on collaboration between classroom faculty, academic administrators, and librarians. This collaboration can include:

  • Working with librarians to help teach students information literacy skills in various ways including collaborating on assignments, incorporating research requirements, creating websites or tutorials, providing research “labs” with librarians available for help, etc.
  • Incorporating information literacy components into research assignments and related course requirements, especially in orientation, English, and communication courses
  • Helping librarians to create an information literacy course for credit and encourage the campus community to promote it to students
  • Creating a supportive atmosphere on campus for information literacy by being an advocate in meetings and classrooms
  • Contacting a librarian and asking how to get involved

Further readings for Faculty & Administrators