Advanced Information Literacy Skills
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Advanced Information Literacy Skills

These skills are expected of students graduating with baccalaureate degrees.

1.   Basic information literacy skills

Students should have a mastery of and easily use the basic skills including:

  • Obtaining materials in traditional format.
  • Basics of searching.
  • Using the library's online catalog.
  • Understanding the use of periodical indexes/database in identifying articles.
  • Ease in obtaining information in electronic format.
  • Understanding various types and formats of information sources.
  • Understanding the research process including evaluation of sources and the ethical and legal uses of information.
  • Understanding what is information literacy.

 2.   Basic reference tools and databases relevant to their major area

  • Be able to name and use at least two specialized periodical indexes / databases (print and /or electronic).
  • These abilities to include facility with features such as marking records, e-mailing records, and other conventions of that particular database.
  • Be familiar with and have facility using at least two Internet subject directories.
  • Be familiar with and able to use at least two additional reference sources (print and/or electronic).
  • Have facility with at least one Internet search engine to include use of the conventions of that particular search engine.
  • Know when it's appropriate to use general and subject-specific information sources.

  3.    Planning and constructing effectively designed search/research strategies           

  • Develop an appropriate research plan incorporating as many varied types of information sources as is appropriate.
  • Identify keywords, synonyms, and related terms for the information needed.
  • Select an appropriate controlled vocabulary for the discipline or information source.
  • Develop appropriate search strategies for specific information sources including print and electronic.

 4.   Critical evaluation of sources and the ability to incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base.            

  • Evaluate information from various sources for reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias as covered in the basic standards.
  • Recognize prejudice, deception, or manipulation in information sources.
  • Recognize the cultural, temporal, or other context within which the information was created and keep its impact in mind when interpreting the information.
  • Compare new information with own knowledge and other sources considered authoritative to determine if conclusions are reasonable.

 5.   An understanding of economic, legal and social issues concerning information

Students should understand:

  • The differences between free web sites and fee-based databases all of which are accessed via the Internet.
  • That fee-based electronic services normally have licensing agreements, which often limit their accessibility.
  • The importance of citing sources.
  • That there are different style manuals and should be comfortable with the style preferred by his or her major subject area.
  • Basic U.S. copyright law for print and electronic formats especially as it pertains to the preparation of papers and projects.

Endorsed by Library Committee 4/10/00
Updated 6/2001
Draft revision 4/2002 - Incorporating elements from The Association of College and Research Libraries: "Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education" and "Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: A Model Statement for Academic Librarians