Information literacy is most succinctly defined as the set of integrated abilities encompassing the discovery of information, the understanding of the authority of the information in how it is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.
For students to be information literate, they need to be able to navigate the library and our electronic and print information resources; they need to be able to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information to come to conclusions; and they need to be familiar with computers and computer applications not only to find and retrieve information but also to communicate their findings.
Lifelong learning is also encouraged through the promotion of information literacy. Students develop an appreciation of how these skills will assist them in their future coursework and careers, along with developing an understanding of the impact information has on society and their lives.
Faculty and librarians can work together to provide opportunities for students to learn these skills. This collaboration might include:
Adapted from Virginia Tech University Libraries and the Association of College and Research Libraries.
The goal of the Information Literacy Program at D'Amour Library is to develop individuals with information literacy skills and understanding who "...have the ability to identify, access, evaluate, and select information to fit defined needs and the ability to use that information in an ethical manner" (39) as defined in the General University Requirements of Western New England University.
Like with reading literacy, information literacy is a gradual and continual process. The Rubric for Information Literacy charts the development of key information literacy areas in which students can expect to improve throughout their time at the University via engagements with the IL Program.
The Information Literacy Program at D'Amour Library offers a modular workshop approach, comprised of modules responding to General College Requirements and Association of College and Research Libraries' Framework for Information Literacy. These modules address the students' progression from first year student through graduate student, where they have repeat opportunities to seek, evaluate and manage information at various academic levels and with various discipline based sources.
The information literacy program at Western New England University depends and thrives on library-faculty collaboration. Librarians are enthusiastic about providing support for information literacy in any capacity, inside or outside of the classroom. Open lines of communication and ample lead time are key factors of successful faculty-librarian partnerships. For this reason, we recommend scheduling classes and appointments well in advance.
We look forward to working with you for the continued advancement of our students' information literacy!