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Information Literacy: Introduction

Increase your understanding of Information Literacy knowledge practices and dispositions at every stage of higher education.

Why Information Literacy?

  • Do you or  your students, Only summarize or closely paraphrase with minimal critical thinking? Cite too much web material with inconsistent formatting? Write with weak grammar and structure? Show difficulty organizing and recalling source material? Then they will benefit from developing information literacy.
  • Information Literacy skills may be integrated into courses in a variety of ways. 
  • Embedded Librarians collaborate with you to develop measurable objectives, lessons, exercises to foster aspects of information literacy. This practice stems from the threshold concepts outlined in the Framework for Information Literacy by the Association of College and Research Libraries.  

Contact the Library to learn more about integrating this unique skill set into assignments.

Accrediting Organizations Acknowledge the Importance of Information Literacy:

  • New Middle States accreditation requirements include the provision that all programs, at all levels, align with a common set of learning and achievement goals for the institution. One essential learning outcome for all NYIT students;  Achieve proficiency in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis, technological competency, and information literacy. (MSCHE, Standard III, 5.a)
  • The National Architectural Accrediting Board criteria points directly to Information Literacy whereas,
    • Student Performance Criteria (A.3) listed in the 2014 Conditions for Accreditation: “Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, and comparatively evaluate relevant information and performance in order to support conclusions related to a specific project or assignment.”  which as Barbara Opar, points out, NAAB has paraphrased the Association of College and Research Libraries’ definition, 

      “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.”

  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation Professional Standards (CIDA)- Professional Standard for Education Programs in Interior Design

    • Standard 8 refers to the design process whereas, Design Process Interior designers employ all aspects of the design process to creatively solve a design problem. which includes, 

      • h) Students understand the importance of evaluating the relevance and reliability of information and research impacting design solutions.(4)  

      • Guidance: Refers to the understanding of the quality of sources for information and research, the availability of multiple sources, and/or triangulating.

The Framework for Information Literacy

 The most commonly used definition of information literacy originates from the
American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy Final Report:

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" 

Though the definition of information literacy has not changed, ACRL introduced in 2016 the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education which  "grows out of a belief that information literacy as an educational reform movement will realize its potential only through a richer, more complex set of core ideas" (Framework for...) which include:

Frames outline knowledge practices and dispositions that are further delineated into novice and expert benchmarks. With this structure it is possible to identify goals and objectives. For example, a First Year Student may measurably be developing a novice knowledge practice while a graduating student shows evidence of an expert knowledge practice. This topical Libguide outlines each frame and the development level. Concepts can be converted to Learning Outcomes and aligned with additional course objectives.

These are an Information Seeking Learner's threshold concepts. A threshold concept transforms the learner’s view of content and helps integrate previously learned material; threshold concepts are portals that, once traversed, bring insight into how to think and act like a practitioner within a discipline (Hofer, 387.) 


Hofer, A. R., Townsend, L., & Brunetti, K. (2012). Troublesome concepts and information literacy: Investigating threshold concepts for IL instruction. Portal : Libraries and the Academy, 12(4), 387-405. Retrieved from

"Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education", American Library Association, February 9, 2015. (Accessed October 23, 2017)

"Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education." ALA,

"Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report", American Library Association, July 24, 2006. (Accessed October 31, 2018)

Opar, B. (2016). Strategies for Planning Successful Information Literacy Assignments for Architecture Students.  Association of Collegiate 
Schools of Architecture. Accessed October 1, 2018.

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