Student walking through the Norlin QuadDefining Information Literacy

The Association of College and Research Libraries, in the 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 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) describes Information Literacy in the publication “Beacons of the Information Society” as a human right essential to lifelong learning and civic participation:

“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. It’s a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations.”

Other scholars frame Information Literacy as a way of learning or a situated practice:

“Information Literacy is a way of learning through engaging with information. It involves critical thinking, problem solving, higher order analysis and synthesis in order to find, select, evaluate and use information effectively. Information literacy goes beyond the academic context and prepares students for independent learning, lifelong learning, participative citizenship and social responsibility.” Lupton, M. (2004). The learning connection: information literacy and the student experience. Adelaide: Auslib Press.

“Information literacy should be seen as a core and critical information practice, that builds people’s capacity to negotiate increasingly complex social and technological environments and one that facilitates a way of knowing about the modalities of information within an environment and how these modalities are constructed.” Lloyd, A. (2010). Information Literacy Landscapes: Information Literacy in Education, Workplace and Everyday Contexts. Oxford: Chandos Pub.

The teaching and learning librarians of the University of Colorado Boulder draw from each of the definitions and view information literacies, which encompass both contextual practices and enduring habits of mind, as critical foundations for all aspects of students' learning, scholarship, and creative works, as well as their everyday, workplace and civic lives.

Our Commitment to Information Literacy

We’re committed to intentional partnerships between librarians, curricular designers, faculty and students in order to create learning opportunities that cultivate information literacies and creative thinking.

We support curricular and community cultures in several ways:

Course-Integrated Research Services
Consult with a teaching librarian to collaboratively design and arrange learning opportunities in support of course goals.

Tailored Research Seminars
Faculty may request tailored research sessions, which are designed to meet specific student and course needs. The sessions may help students investigate and focus on research topics; explore the complexities of the research processes; examine information and communication systems; interrogate information genres and formats; and participate and contribute to scholarly and civic conversations.

Online Course Materials
Faculty may request customized online learning resources. Guides and learning objects help to scaffold research assignments, compile relevant and useful sources and facilitate integration of library resources into online learning spaces.

Assignment Consultations
Faculty may work collaboratively with teaching librarians to design or revise assignments or assignment sequences to incorporate information literacy. We work together to articulate student learning goals and design learning activities. Contact Caroline Sinkinson to learn more.

Research consultations
Faculty and students may request individual coaching and learning.

Teaching and learning librarians have worked to integrate information literacy into departmental and campus curricular initiatives, including both general undergraduate courses as well as disciplinary research courses. To learn more about embedding or integrating information literacy into your curricular goals contact Caroline Sinkinson.