What is Information Literacy?

An information literate person is defined as having the ability 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.

As outlined by the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

"Information literate people are those who have learned how to learn ... because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.”  (American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report, 1989)

ACRL’s resource site provides a wealth of pertinent information, and includes discussion of information literacy and related issues of information technology, higher education, pedagogy, assessing and using the Standards, performance indicators, and outcomes.

Ramsey Information Literacy Instruction Program

Our mission is to integrate information literacy into learning across the curriculum.  In collaboration with faculty and campus administrators, we support and promote information literacy instruction and education to ensure that students develop the ability to find, evaluate and use information effectively and responsibly to succeed in their academic careers as well as to solve problems and make informed decisions.  The Ramsey Instruction Program strives to create such lifelong learners by utilizing teaching methodologies that respond to individual differences in learning style and level, and include such teaching strategies as active, collaborative, and inquiry-based or problem-based learning.

The program endeavors to assist students in learning to find, evaluate and use information efficiently and responsibly from resources regardless of format.  Ramsey Library recognizes the importance of classroom and computer-based instruction while strongly advocating personal service in support of the program.  We consider complete reliance on computer-assisted methods to be insufficient and that one-on-one personal interaction with students lends the human touch that is the foundation of a liberal arts education.


Page updated 8/13/2013. 
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