What is Information Literacy?
In the 21st century's information age, the critical evaluation and analysis of information in all formats is an essential proficiency needed inside and outside of the classroom. Because of its importance, "information literacy" is one of Auburn University's General Education goals, and a student learning outcome within the Core Curriculum.
To be information literate, one should be able to:
- Determine the extent of information needed
- Access needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluate information and its sources critically
- Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
This definition of information literacy comes from the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.
Planning an Effective Library Instruction Session
Auburn University Libraries and its Instruction Program are committed to helping all users become information literate. Librarians lead information literacy library instruction sessions using best practices in effective and engaged teaching, and relate content directly to student learning outcomes.
Point of Need
Timing is an important component of effective library instruction. If scheduled too early, students will not retain what they have learned. If scheduled too late, students will not have acquired the skills they need to successfully complete an assignment. A helpful rule of thumb may be to schedule a library session two weeks to 10 days before a specific assignment is due. Instruction sessions should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
Teaching Faculty/Library Faculty Collaboration
Librarians will tailor lesson plans to individual class needs. It is especially important for students to have an assignment requiring information resource use in order for them to receive the full benefit of attending a library instruction session. Faculty should share syllabus and assignments with the librarian and plan the library session together. Professors and instructors are required to attend sessions along with their students.