Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

In CSB/SJU’s new Integrations Curriculum, information literacy is described as the ability to “identify, evaluate, and responsibly use information.”

The Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education defines information literacy as “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."

The CSB/SJU Libraries’ information literacy program complements and supports the scaffolded learning taking place within both Integrations Curriculum courses and individual academic departments. Learn more about our Learning Outcomes here:

Libraries and Instructional Technology Learning Outcomes for CSB/SJU Students

Why is Information Literacy Important?

We live in an information-rich world that’s full of complexity and competing claims. Helping CSB/SJU students develop increasingly nuanced information literacy skills will help them succeed academically, in their future careers, and throughout their lives as discerning consumers, sharers, and creators of information. We agree with UNESCO’s affirmation that, "Information Literacy lies at the core of lifelong learning. It empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals" (UNESCO’s 2005 Alexander Proclamation).

How Can the Libraries Help?

Our Learning and Research Librarians team wants to be involved at every stage of student learning, starting with our presence in FYS (and, starting in 2020-2021, in the Integrations Curriculum’s Learning Foundations course) and working up through research methods courses and other courses with library research components, undergraduate research, and capstone or other senior-level projects. We can meet with your class for a library instruction session, suggest video tutorials and other materials to embed in Canvas, and consult with students in 1:1 or group research appointments.

We also collaborate with Instructional Technology on integrating digital literacy (including information literacy, media literacy, and data literacy) and innovative information and communication technologies into coursework. Reach out if you’re interested in developing a video, audio, data visualization, or 3D printing project for your class.

How is Information Literacy Built into the Integrations Curriculum?

Information literacy is one of the Integrations Curriculum’s twelve scaffolded learning goals (see Section 4 of the Integrations Curriculum document). Each learning goal has Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced outcomes. These are the outcomes for the information literacy learning goal:

Information Literacy 1 (Beginner): Students access appropriate information through common search strategies. They cite sources appropriately and articulate the value of accurate citations. Their papers are free of plagiarism.

Libraries Support for Info Lit 1

Information Literacy 2 (Intermediate): Students locate relevant information using well-designed search strategies, evaluate and use appropriate and multiple resources, and articulate why using information has many ethical and legal implications.

Information Literacy 3 (Advanced): Students use well-designed search strategies to find information, evaluate and use appropriate and diverse resources, and follow the ethical and legal standards for their discipline.

The Libraries’ learning outcomes correspond not only to this information literacy learning goal, but other Integrations Curriculum learning goals as well, including Analyzing Texts, Metacognition, Write, Speak, and Quantitative Reasoning. Learn more here:

Libraries and Instructional Technology Learning Outcomes for CSB/SJU Students

Assignment Ideas

We are happy to work with instructors to develop and strengthen information literacy assignments:

FYS & Library Assignment Ideas

Undergraduate Library Instruction


Syllabi Statement

You can use the draft language below for your syllabi or Canvas pages. Just update it with your department/program name, the name and email address of your liaison librarian, and the URL for your department’s library research guide:

I encourage you to use the CSB/SJU Libraries’ resources and services throughout the semester. Jonathan Carlson ( [email protected]) is our environmental studies librarian, and you can schedule a meeting with him by using the “Research Appointment” button on the library homepage ( or emailing him directly. Jonathan can help you refine a research topic, track down and evaluate sources, and properly cite things. An environmental studies library research guide is available at

Other Resources

Fostering Integrity in Research: Faculty Resources

Student Resources for Avoiding Plagiarism