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What is Information Literacy?

The Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education state that “[Information literacy] is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed and assume greater control over their own learning.” The information competency standards of ACRL are:

Standard 1. The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Standard 2. The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

Standard 3. The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Standard 4. The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Standard 5. 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.

The WVU Libraries Information Literacy Program adapts the ACRL definition to state that information literacy is “the set of skills and abilities to effectively identify, find, evaluate and ethically use traditional and emerging sources of information.” Information literate individuals are able to think critically about the research process during their academic careers but also throughout their working years and personal lives.

There are many disciplines that have developed specialized information literacy standards. Examples include:

 

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