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Information Literacy: Introduction


Last year, ACRL introduced the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.  The Framework replaces  the ACRL Standards that academic librarians have been using for the past 15 years as our guide for teaching information literacy.  As stated on the ACRL website, the Framework "grows out of a belief that information literacy as an educational reform movement will realize its potential only through a richer, more complex set of core ideas." 

We are in the process of revising this Information Resource Guide to reflect the new Framework and its impact on instruction and our overall information literacy program.

Information Literacy is....

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines Information Literacy as:

"...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 forms the basis for lifelong learning. It 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. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the 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


ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is based on interconnected core concepts, with flexible options for implementation, rather than on a set of standards or learning outcomes or standards. 

The Framework is organized into six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions. The six concepts that anchor the frames are presented alphabetically:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Information Literacy Program at EdCC

At Edmonds, Information Literacy is a major element of the new College Wide Abilities (CWAs).  This means it is recognized by our college as key componentof a general education and necessary for academic success, personal and professional decision-making, civic participation and lifelong learning.  As librarians, we believe Information Literacy should be taught across the curriculum and is most effective when it is integrated into courses and disciplines. 

The mission of the EdCC Library Information literacy (IL) Program is to educate students to become information literate lifelong learners.   The information literate student has the “ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate evaluate and use effectively the needed information.” (ALA, 1989).   Information literacy enhances the pursuit of knowledge by preparing students and the college community to think critically and to effectively use information for their academic, professional and personal lives.


- Develop assessment plans and tools to evaluate student learning of IL skills
- Collaborate with faculty to infuse IL into the curriculum and assess student learning
- Expand campus awareness of IL principles through articulating a formal IL CWA
- Develop shared and transferable tools and systems for effective and relevant instruction
- Develop library’s eLearning presence in Bb (eLearning Strategy Team)
- Strive to make every interaction at the library a learning opportunity by reinforcing IL concepts and providing opportunities for guided practice
- Provide resources and services that promote an environment of free and open inquiry in all fields of learning
At this time, our program includes:

• Library orientations and tours

• Course-specific instruction

• Individual instruction

• Online tutorials, including research guides and videos

• Collaboration and consultation with faculty

• Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Information Literacy Grant

Using the format in the ACRL Analyzing Your Instructional Environment: A Workbook, we have begun analyzing our college's IL work as a starting point for developing an IL program.