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Library Teaching and Learning Toolkit

Information Literacy: What is it?

According to the American Library Association, "information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

Library Instruction Program

Sul Ross Librarians are here to help students, staff, and faculty at all campuses discover resources, accesses services, and build skills. All of these actions culminate in information literacy.

Library Learning Outcomes

This collection of Library Learning Outcomes and Potential Objectives is based heavily on the ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy, the Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: A Model Statement for Academic Librarians and modeled after those of several universities, including Hunter College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro University Libraries.

Outcome 1. Students will gain familiarity with library resources and services.

Potential Outcome 1 Objectives:

Students will demonstrate knowledge of the Library’s location on campus and on the internet

Students will identify and recall how to get help from a librarian

Students will distinguish between the types of information available from libraries and other ways to access information in order to assess quality of research artifacts for use as evidence in assignments and personal projects, including these specific access points:

  • InterLibrary loan and Document Delivery services
  • Free internet searching and cross-referencing between the internet and Library resources

Students will perceive the value of library services translated to the real world

Outcome 2. Through practice, students will independently determine an information need.

Potential Outcome 2 Objectives:

Students will explain the requirements of an assignment in order to identify an initial question or problem to be researched

Students will use background information, including literature reviews, effectively to gain an initial understanding of the topic

Outcome 3. Through practice, students will locate resources relevant to a defined information need, and in turn be able to describe different categories of information.

Potential Outcome 3 Objectives:

Students will identify different categories of information in order to define appropriate resources for specific assignments, including but not limited to the following overlapping categories:

  • Physical versus digital resources
  • Library-curated versus free internet resources
    • Students will identify and discuss issues related to free versus fee-based access to information
  • Reference resources
  • Databases [as a means of resource storage]; bound journals, monographs, et cetera
  • Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources

Students will demonstrate their ability to locate and digest peer-reviewed, academic journal articles

Outcome 4. Through practice, students will construct effective search strategies and utilize appropriate searching language to access information, and in turn be able to evaluate, synthesize, and critically analyze that information.

Potential Objective 4 Objectives:

Students will use an existing text or prior reading/knowledge to develop relevant search terms

Students will demonstrate understanding of the Library’s catalog offerings in order to use the best tool for the job and, further, will understand when to cross-reference between such tools, including:

  • example: All Library Search versus subject-specific database versus free internet

Students will demonstrate understanding of basic and advanced strategic searching on a variety of interfaces (meta search engines, catalogs, subject-specific databases, free internet) to access relevant information

Students will consciously and strategically read database records in order to glean relevant information

Students will effectively use the CRAAP test (or know where to look to find evaluation tools) in order to evaluate found resources

Outcome 5. Students will select and ethically use relevant information sources based on defined situational contexts.

Potential Objective 5 Objectives:

Students will locate specific and relevant sources based on their field of study

Students will illustrate their recognition of personal bias and other evaluative factors

Students will compare new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions or other unique characteristics of the information in order to participate in the scholarly exchange of communication

Students will build an acceptable works cited/annotated bibliography/reference sheet based on the requirements of the product [assignment]

Students will correctly and consistently use the citation style appropriate to a specific discipline in order to effectively manage the relevant information sources being put to use