Information literacy is attainment of the skills, knowledge and disposition that enable one to locate, evaluate, use and communicate information effectively for the purposes of gaining knowledge, solving a problem or making a decision.
At Cornell, information literacy is taught in the context of the academic curriculum. Consulting librarians and consultants from the Center for Teaching and Learning collaborate with faculty to develop and refine students’ information literacy skills. We follow a process model to help students develop an understanding of what it means to engage in inquiry. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of an authentic research query, accessing authoritative information sources, analyzing information critically, and communicating effectively in various media.
Information Literacy Standards
The Association of College and Research Libraries has published a set of standards that provide a framework for information literacy instruction. At Cornell, we integrate these standards into courses by working with faculty in point-of need instruction. In this way, Cornell students apply information literacy concepts to their own academic pursuits.
Focusing on Assignments
In collaboration with Colorado College, Cornell faculty and librarians have developed a guide for developing effective library research assignments and designing ways to assess student performance.
The Inquiry Process
This brief article explores the concern that undergraduate students often have inaccurate mental models of the research process, confusing researching with reporting.
At Cornell, the information literacy program engages students in hands-on learning with both print and electronic resources. We select teaching strategies appropriate to the needs of the students and the expectations of the course.