Episode 15: Information Literacy

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This is our final regular show of Season One!!

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Topic of the Week: Information Literacy

This material applies to all our patrons: students of all ages, senior citizens, new immigrants, soccer moms – everyone!

(We will not mention any names; but it was a little discouraging to see some of the very poorly designed websites with material on this topic, or websites filled with broken links. This is an important part of info literacy!)


From ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries):

“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.” 1

 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:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally


“Jeremy J. Shapiro and Shelley K. Hughes advocated a more holistic approach to information literacy education

  • Tool literacy, or the ability to understand and use the practical and conceptual tools of current information technology relevant to education and the areas of work and professional life that the individual expects to inhabit.
  • Resource literacy, or the ability to understand the form, format, location and access methods of information resources, especially daily expanding networked information resources.
  • Social-structural literacy, or understanding how information is socially situated and produced.
  • Research literacy, or the ability to understand and use the IT-based tools relevant to the work of today’s researcher and scholar.
  • Publishing literacy, or the ability to format and publish research and ideas electronically, in textual and multimedia forms … to introduce them into the electronic public realm and the electronic community of scholars.
  • Emerging technology literacy, or the ability to continuously adapt to, understand, evaluate and make use of the continually emerging innovations in information technology so as not to be a prisoner of prior tools and resources, and to make intelligent decisions about the adoption of new ones.
  • Critical literacy, or the ability to evaluate critically the intellectual, human and social strengths and weaknesses, potentials and limits, benefits and costs of information technologies.[




For K-12 schools:

AASL Learning Standards for the 21st Century Learner: good report you can use to show your principal or other stakeholders how truly vital your job is! http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/AASL_LearningStandards.pdf


Library Examples:



Books we are reading


Infected, by Scott Sigler “A mysterious disease is turning thousands of ordinary Americans into raving, paranoid murderers who inflict brutal horrors on strangers, their own families, and even themselves. And one morning, ex–football star Perry Dawsey awakens to find mysterious welts growing all over his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices, fighting uncontrollable rage . . . he is infected. Worse, the disease wants something from him, something that could alter the fate of the human race.”



Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth “In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

In Grit, she takes readers into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

Among Grit’s most valuable insights:

*Why any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal
*How grit can be learned, regardless of I.Q. or circumstances
*How lifelong interest is triggered
*How much of optimal practice is suffering and how much ecstasy
*Which is better for your child—a warm embrace or high standards
*The magic of the Hard Thing Rule

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.”



Spotlight Library:

American University Libraries in Washington DC


“The American University Library plays a vital role in connecting students, faculty, and scholars across the academy with information, ideas, and each other. While we continue to support traditional modes of scholarship through our print collections, primary source material, and research consultations, we increasingly support emerging trends in learning and scholarship, such as digital information formats, multimedia production, data set utilization and management, and sustaining key partnerships to better enable student success.


We developed the Research Commons initiative with our partners across campus to connect students with research assistance at the point of need. Students can now receive on-site training on statistical software and in-depth consultations on statistical methodology for their research projects, in-person writing assistance, research consultations with librarians who are experts in the disciplines, on-site tech help, and access to the scholarly resources needed for in-depth research.


Through our emphasis on collections, service, and collaboration, we are developing innovative approaches to modern research, such as data set utilization, management, and preservation; expertise in alternative scholarly metrics (alt-metrics) and scholarly communication; digital resources; and mobile library services. We are partnering with new programs to offer materials for faculty instruction and student use in emerging fields.

One of our major goals is to create a more inspiring library space. As we undergo space planning and eventual construction, we will be working to increase study space while keeping our key on-site collections accessible. While the collection will continue to grow and stay current, our digital holdings will increase rapidly. Our focus will be on interdisciplinary, social, and scholarly connections we foster as we position the library to meet the needs of the future.


The AU Library collection spans primary source material, key foundational texts and cutting-edge scholarship. Additionally, our participation and partnership in the Washington Research Library Consortium provides AU students and faculty with access to more than 12 million volumes. Our Washington, DC location also affords a rich array of governmental, academic, and intellectual institutions with which we partner to provide access to a greater quantity of cutting edge resources.”  http://www.american.edu/library/about/index.cfm


Information Literacy Tutorial

In this tutorial you will learn how to conduct research –from start to finish– using the American University Library. This tutorial is composed of 5 sections. Each has its own set of learning outcomes and activities. You can navigate through the tutorial by using the tabs at the top of the screen, or you can use the NEXT and BACK buttons at the bottom of each page.

In each section you will find text and “active” images. In order to fully experience this tutorial, we suggest that you both read the text, and explore the images.

This section will introduce you to steps that will help you get started with your research project.

In this section, you will learn how to distinguish between types of sources, and how to determine which source is best for your assignment.

In this section you’ll learn how to search for and find the sources you need.

This section will help you determine whether or not information is authoritative, accurate, and suits your research needs.

In this section you’ll learn about when and how citations are used.

There is a video tour of the library Library Tour Video (click “CC” for closed captioning) https://youtu.be/0dXw2RWqzpk







Thanks for listening!    Sign up for our newsletter, online book groups, and social media at cmle.org


This is the final regular podcast of Season One, but don’t despair! We will have the Season One LOL (or Linking Our Libraries) Award Show for you Thursday, June 29!! If you have not yet voted for your favorites in all our different award categories, go to our website now and do it!



Further reading (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_literacy)

  • Association of College Research Libraries (2007).The First-Year Experience and Academic Libraries: A Select, Annotated Bibliography. Retrieved April 20, 2008.
  • Barner, R. (1996, March/April). Seven changes that will challenge managers-and workers.The Futurist, 30 (2), 14–18.
  • P. S., & Senn, J. A. (1998).Information literacy: Educating children for the 21st century. (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: National Education Association.
  • Bruch, C & Wilkinson, C.W. (2012). Surveying Terrain, Clearing Pathways inTransforming Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture, and Campus Community (ACRL Publications in Librarianship no.64) [1]
  • Carpenter, J. P. (1989).Using the new technologies to create links between schools throughout the world: Colloquy on computerized school links. (Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom, October 17–20, 1988).
  • Doty, P. (2003). Bibliographic instruction: The digital divide and resistance of users to technologies. Retrieved July 12, 2009, fromhttp://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~l38613dw/website_spring_03/readings/BiblioInstruction.html
  • Doyle, C.S. (1992).Outcome Measures for Information Literacy Within the National Education Goals of 1990. Final Report to National Forum on Information Literacy. Summary of Findings.
  • Eisenberg, M. (2004). Information literacy: The whole enchilada [PowerPoint Presentation]. Retrieved July 14, 2009, fromhttp://www.big6.com/presentations/sreb/
  • Eisenberg, M., Lowe, C., & Spitzer, K. (2004).Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age.  edition. Libraries Unlimited.
  • Ercegovac, Zorana. (2008). Information literacy: Search strategies, tools & resources for high school students and college freshmen. (2nd ed.). Columbus, OH: Linworth Books. <http://www.infoen.net/page1/page1.html>.
  • Ercegovac, Zorana. (2012). “Letting students use Web 2.0 tools to hook one another on reading.” Knowledge Quest, 40 (3), 36-39. <[2]>.
  • Grassian, E. (2004) Information Literacy: Building on Bibliographic Instruction.American Libraries, 35 (9), 51–53.
  • National Commission of Excellence in Education. (1983).A Nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. (ED 226 006)
  • National Hispanic Council on Aging. (nd). Mission statement. Retrieved July 13, 2009, from National Forum on Information Literacy Web site.
  • Nierenberg, E. & Fjeldbu, Ø. G. (2015). How much do first-year undergraduate students in Norway know about information literacy?Journal of Information Literacy, 9(1),15-33. Retrieved from http://jil.lboro.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/JIL/article/view/PRA-V9-I1-2
  • Obama, B. (2009). Presidential Proclamation: National Information Literacy Awareness Month, 2009. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved October 27, 2009 fromhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/2009literacy_prc_rel.pdf
  • Osborne, R. (Ed.). (2004). From outreach to equity: Innovative models of library policy and practice. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Presti, P. (2002). Incorporating information literacy and distance learning within a course management system: a case study. Ypsilanti, MI:Loex News, (29)2–3, 3-12-13. Retrieved February 3, 2004 from https://web.archive.org/web/20041108160257/http://www.emich.edu/public/loex/news/ln290202.pdf
  • Ryan, J., & Capra, S. (2001).Information literacy toolkit. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Schwarzenegger, S. (2009). Executive order S-06-09. Sacramento, CA. Retrieved October 27, 2009 fromhttp://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=12393
  • (2007). The Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model. Retrieved November 3, 2010 fromhttp://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/information_literacy/sp/model.html
  • Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills


AASL Learning Standards for the 21st Century Learner: good report you can use to show your principal or other stakeholders how truly vital your job is! http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/AASL_LearningStandards.pdf




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