Information Literacy

We live in an information-rich world that’s full of complexity and competing claims. The CSB/SJU Libraries are here to help students develop the evaluative habits, critical thinking skills, and information literacy abilities they’ll need to succeed in college, in their careers, and throughout their lives as discerning consumers, sharers, and creators of information.

What is Information Literacy?

In CSB/SJU's 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."

Our Information and Digital Literacies Student Learning Outcomes and more detailed Knowledge Practices, which are based on the ACRL Framework, complement our CSB/SJU's Institutional Learning Goals and our Integrations Curriculum Learning Outcomes.

Support for Your Course or Department

The librarians from our Learning and Research Team support the library research needs of individual courses and each of CSB/SJU’s academic departments and programs. Instructors are encouraged to partner with their liaison librarian to incorporate appropriate information literacy concepts and skills into their courses.

We currently offer three main types of support:

1. Library Instruction Sessions. We can meet with your students for in-class library instruction sessions to introduce ourselves, offer search strategies, provide overviews of specific library resources, guide information literacy activities or lab sessions, and answer questions. Go over your plans and goals for a session with your librarian to determine if one longer session or several shorter sessions would best meet your needs. These sessions are offered primarily via Zoom during the 2020-2021 academic year.

2. Asynchronous or Flipped Classroom Resources. We offer a range of resources to support your students’ learning outside of class time, including library research activities and worksheets, video tutorials, and discipline- or course-specific research guides. Our newest offerings, supported by a recent NEH CARES grant, are information literacy modules that instructors can import directly into their Canvas courses. Each of these options can be customized for your course’s content, assignments, and learning objectives.

3. Student Research Appointments. Students can get personalized help in one-on-one or group research appointments. We work with students through the entire research process, from initial topic development, to finding background information, to searching for peer-reviewed articles, primary sources, and current statistics, to citing sources properly in their final draft. Encourage your students to schedule a research appointment whenever they hit a roadblock in their library research.

Media and Information Literacy Assignments with iTech

The CSB/SJU Libraries partner with Instructional Technology to support classroom media projects. Reach out if you’re interested in developing a project for your class. Our objective is to foster media and information literacy by expanding on traditional intellectual skill sets to include the ability to create messages and express ideas using multimedia technology. Our award-winning team of librarians and instructional technology specialists have developed “Sequences” documents to guide these collaborations with instructors. Review sample projects in our Multimedia Assignment Menu or learn more about assignments using specific technologies here:

How is Information Literacy Built into the Integrations Curriculum?

Information literacy is one of the Integrations Curriculum’s twelve learning goals, and includes three scaffolded learning outcomes:

1. Information Literacy 1 (Beginner; met in Learning Foundations or Learning Explorations): 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.

2. Information Literacy 2 (Intermediate; met in Thematic Focus courses): 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.

3. 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.

Libraries Support for Info Lit 1

Libraries Support for Info Lit 2

Assignment Ideas and Other Resources

The Libraries’ Learning and Research Team is committed to developing, in partnership with instructors and academic departments, information literacy assignments and resources that both scaffold, or build, on the foundational concepts introduced in Info Lit 1 and Info Lit 2 and map to the learning objectives and core skills of particular departments or disciplines. We’d love to chat with you further!

Sample Assignment Ideas

Collaborating with Librarians Using Canvas Modules

Fostering Integrity in Student Research: Faculty Resources

Student Resources for Avoiding Plagiarism

Multimedia Assignment Menu