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Why Library Instruction Matters

Library instruction can play an important role in helping your students understand academic research. It can help your students:

What is information literacy?

The Undergraduate Library is committed to teaching students information literacy skills. Information literacy, the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively, is fundamental to academic excellence and life long learning. This principle serves as a foundation to all library instruction efforts.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) provides extensive information on information literacy along with a set of Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Below is the definition provided by ACRL:

Information Literacy Defined

 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." Information literacy also is increasingly important in the contemporary environment of rapid technological change and proliferating information resources. Because of the escalating complexity of this environment, individuals are faced with diverse, abundant information choices--in their academic studies, in the workplace, and in their personal lives. Information is available through libraries, community resources, special interest organizations, media, and the Internet--and increasingly, information comes to individuals in unfiltered formats, raising questions about its authenticity, validity, and reliability. In addition, information is available through multiple media, including graphical, aural, and textual, and these pose new challenges for individuals in evaluating and understanding it. The uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information pose large challenges for society. The sheer abundance of information will not in itself create a more informed citizenry without a complementary cluster of abilities necessary to use information effectively.

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:

To schedule a library session for a Composition I course, fill out the Class Request Form .

If you have any questions about library instruction in the Undergraduate Library contact Susan Avery, Instructional Services Librarian, at skavery@illinois.edu.