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Adjunct Faculty Orientation: Information Literacy

Information Literacy

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as "the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information." 1

Information literacy skills include:

  1. One's ability to determine the extent of information required to meet an information need (ex. a definition or simple fact may require consulting a dictionary or encyclopedia, while a research paper will require more sources of information)
  2. Knowing how to access a piece of information (in other words: knowing where to look, and how to find information quickly)
  3. Evaluating a piece of information for its authors' point of view and credibility, along with the timeliness and accuracy of the piece. Then, one's ability to determine its overall usefulness for one's current task
  4. Being aware of economic, legal, and social issues that impact access to and use of information (ex. awareness of intellectual property laws and how to cite sources in order to avoid plagiarism.)2

1. The Association of College and Research Libraries (2006). Introduction to Information Literacy. Retrieved June 10, 2014 Document ID: 918d8179-b8dc-d1c4-8930-59dfa5b1626c

2.. Lanning, S. (2012). Concise guide to information literacy. ABC-CLIO. p. 2-3

Additional Resources

Pellissippi State is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' 2012 Principles of Accreditation includes the following relevant items:

3.4.12 The institution’s use of technology enhances student learning and is appropriate for meeting the objectives of its programs. Students have access to and training in the use of technology

3.8.2: The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.1


Information literacy skills are necessary for students while they are in college, they will continue to be important as they become professionals, and they will benefit them in their personal lives.

Students who are able to ask or know where to look for information, think critically, gain knowledge, and all the other skills associated with information literacy will be able to make better decisions informed by their knowledge, share their knowledge, and use this to create new information.2  

Students with information literacy skills will likely be better students and get better grades. Proficiency with information literacy related skills will allow them to perform well in many professions, it will also positively impact their personal lives (for example, improving information literacy skills allow will one to make more informed financial decisions) and will encourage lifelong learning.

Due to the rise in use of the web and internet, we are able to access and contribute to the creation of more information than ever before. Students in this electronic environment will require information technology expertise, including proficiency using electronic resources. Data smog, is "the idea that too much information can create a barrier in our lives."3 Data smog is caused by the increased amount of and quick and easy accessibility of information associated with the Information Age. Information literacy allows one to better navigate through data smog.

1.The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (2012). The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. Retrieved July 7, 2014 

2. For more on outcomes of information literacy see: American Library Association (2006). Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Retrieved July 7, 2014. Document ID: ec710ea2-99a2-27d4-b987-e042c9f4bf3f

3. The Association of College and Research Libraries (2006). Introduction to Information Literacy. Retrieved June 10, 2014 Document ID: 918d8179-b8dc-d1c4-8930-59dfa5b1626c

Additional Resources

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Components of Information Literacy (video)