Information Literacy Standards and Outcomes for Students

As defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries, "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" (Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. ACRL Chicago 2016). It is a component of lifelong learning, and one of the competencies acquired in a liberal arts education.

ACRL's Framework recognizes the increasing responsibilities that students, faculty and librarians have in fostering information literacy in this era of dynamic information growth. "Metaliteracy" expands the scope of information literacy by acknowledging that in the growing digital environment, information is not only acquired, but produced and shared in collaborative online communities. Effective participation in this environment requires knowledge and skills that build on those traditionally associated with information literacy (Mackey & Jacobsen, 2011).

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges' (NEASC) Standards for Accreditation include information literacy as an expected outcome of higher education, which includes access to information resources, learning spaces and professional librarian support (see Standard Four: Academic Program, Standard Six: Teaching Learning and Scholarship and Standard Seven: Institutional Resources). Academic programs identify specific Information literacy goals for their disciplines, with assistance from librarians as needed. UNE Librarians recommend the following general competencies be acquired by all students:

 Undergraduate students will be able to:

  • Understand how materials are organized in the UNE Library.
  • Be familiar with the UNE Library Services' Home Page.
  • Construct effective search strategies.
  • Search the UNE Library catalog by keyword, title, author and subject heading.
  • Use a general academic database, such as ProQuest Central or Academic Search Complete.
  • Read the most common forms of citations.
  • Distinguish between scholarly and popular information sources.
  • Distinguish between free Web sources and fee-based Web sources.
  • Evaluate an information source for quality and appropriateness.
  • Understand how to use information ethically.
  • Cite information completely and accurately according to the appropriate style format.

In addition to the above, graduate students will be able to:

  • Define and articulate their need for information; and identify the librarian liaison for their discipline or subject area.
  • Identify, access and use a variety of relevant resources specific to their discipline (e.g., books, ebooks, journals, databases, government documents, primary/secondary sources, websites, etc.).
  • Locate information within the UNE Library or order it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) as appropriate.
  • Evaluate and select information for quality, accuracy, authority, and reliability, using informed judgment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of copyright and fair use.

Please consult the Library Research Instruction and Training Page for information about our services to support teaching.