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Faculty Resources: Information Literacy Resources

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning. (The Association of College and Research Libraries' Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education)

Students who receive Information Literacy instruction benefit in multiple ways

A 2017 survey of 42,000 students in more than 1,700 courses at 12 major research universities* showed that:

  • Retention rates were higher for students whose courses included IL instruction.
  • The average first-year GPA for students whose courses included IL instruction was higher than for other students.
  • Students who took IL instruction successfully completed 1.8 more credit hours per year than students who did not.

*Greater Western Library Alliance (2017). “The Impact of Information Literacy Instruction on Student Success: A Multi-Institutional Investigation and Analysis.” (Credo Instruct)

Information Literacy and Why it Matters

The Information Literacy Framework is made up of six categories:

  1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual: Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.
  2. Information Creation as a Process: Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.
  3. Information Has Value: Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.
  4. Research as Inquiry: Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.
  5. Scholarship as Conversation: Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.
  6. Searching as Strategic Exploration: Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

Skeen Library uses the Information Literacy Framework from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) to help us make sure that we're teaching students what they need to know. Depending on the class level (100, 200, 300, etc.) and size, we can cover very broad topics or focus on specific skills.

We also have a suite of videos, tutorials, and quizzes centered on information literacy that you can use to complement library instruction, or assign to your students if you aren't able to accomodate an in-class visit from a librarian. These resources are listed below. For more detailed information on a particular resource, hover over the "i" icon. You may wish to use these descriptions yourself.

Copy and paste the hyperlink for the video, tutorial, or quiz you would like your students to watch (they will need to have an active library account in order to view them).

These resources can also be embedded in your Canvas course; please contact the Public Services & Instruction Librarian, Sarah Obenauf, for assistance in setting up the embedding codes.

We encourage faculty and instructors to view the video and tutorial below to gain a better understanding of information literacy, why it matters, and how to design effective research assignments. Librarians are also happy to help you in devising effective research assignments--drop us a line here!

NMT Skeen Library


801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801


(575) 835-5614