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VALE - Virtual Academic Library Environment
Library Instruction and Information Literacy:
Information Literacy Competencies at Rutgers

Since true information literacy for students is a collaborative undertaking involving teaching faculty, librarians, and administrators, this document should be recognized for what it is: an initial, fragmentary list that we hope will serve as a springboard to further discussion.

In November and December 2003, the systemwide Instructional Services Committee at Rutgers met to discuss and analyze the ACRL [Association of College and Research Libraries] Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Our purpose was to identify those issues most applicable to the first two years of undergraduate education that could be addressed directly through our library instruction program. This was an exercise to ground us as we moved forward with the task of building an online information literacy tutorial, Searchpath.

To view the full list of ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, please visit http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/informationliteracycompetency.htm.

To speak with someone at Rutgers about these standards or our information literacy program, please contact Jeanne Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, jeboyle@rci.rutgers.edu or your campus instruction coordinator.

Selected ACRL Standards
Instructional Services Committee
November-December 2003

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

1.1. The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.

Outcome
1.1e. Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need
1.2. The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.

Outcomes
1.2.a Knows how information is formally and informally produced, organized and disseminated

1.2.b. Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed.

1.2.c Identifies the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, audio/visual, book)
1.4. The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.

Outcome
1.4.a. Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question.
Standard 2. The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

2.1. The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.

Outcome
2.1.a. Identifies appropriate investigative methods (e.g. laboratory experiment, simulation, fieldwork)

2.2 The information literate student constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies.

Outcomes
2.2.a. Develops a research plan appropriate to the investigative method.

2.2.b. Identifies keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed.

2.2.c. Selects controlled vocabulary specific to the discipline or information retrieval source.

2.2.d. Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval
system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncations, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books.)
2.3. The information literate student retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.

Outcome

2.3.c. Uses specialized online or in person services available at the institution to retrieve information needed (e.g., interlibrary loan/document delivery, professional associations, institutional research offices, community resources, experts and practitioners.)
2.4. The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.

Outcomes

2.4.a. Assesses the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results to determine whether alternative information retrieval systems or investigative methods should be utilized.

2.4.b. Identifies gaps in the information retrieved and determines if the search strategy should be revised.

2.4.c. Repeats the search using the revised strategy as necessary.
2.5. The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.

Outcomes

2.5.c. Differentiates between the types of sources cited and understands the elements and correct syntax of a citation for a wide range of resources.

2.5.d. Records all pertinent citation information for future reference.
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.

3.2. The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria for evaluation both the information and its sources.

3.2.7. The information literate student determines whether the initial query should be revised.

Outcomes
3.7.a. Determines if original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed.

3.7.b. Reviews search strategy and incorporates additional concepts as necessary

3.7.c. Reviews information retrieval sources used and expands to include others as needed.
Standard 4. The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

[This standard is primarily the province of the teaching faculty. Librarians can assist with this effort, but not address it independently with our existing programs.]
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.

5.1. The information literate student understands many of the ethical, legal and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology.

Outcomes
5.1.a. Identifies and discusses issues related to free vs. fee-based access to information.

5.1.d. Demonstrates an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material.
5.3. The information literate student acknowledges the use of information sources in communicating the product or performance.

Outcome
5.3.a. Selects an appropriate documentation style and uses it consistently to cite sources.
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Last updated February 3, 2005
 
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