The mission of the Egan Library’s information literacy instruction program is to contribute to the student learning, research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University of Alaska Southeast and to support the Egan Library’s Mission by promoting information literacy through both the University curriculum and Library services in order to help students evaluate and efficiently use library and other information resources and to become independent critical thinkers and lifelong learners. Information literacy skills are essential to students’ academic and personal lives, as they enable individuals to identify and locate relevant, reliable information in a changing and often overwhelming information environment.
What is information literacy?
Here at UAS information literacy is one of the Undergraduate Competencies; "competency in information literacy combines the skills of being able to 1) identify needed information; 2) locate and access the information; 3) analyze and evaluate the content; 4) integrate and communicate the information; and 5) evaluate the product and the process."
The standard definition for information literacy in the context of university libraries is that it is the “set of abilities requiring individuals to ‘recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information,’” according to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
Both of the definitions above underscore that those who are information literate have the ability identify an information need, effectively find reliable information to fill that need (by using critical thinking skills and evaluating the information), and use that information for a purpose.
A Changing Definition
A new definition of information literacy from ACRL is forthcoming. An ACRL task force has been developing a new (still in draft form) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. A final version of the Framework is expected to be published in January, 2015. In the Framework information literacy is defined as follows:
Information literacy is a spectrum of abilities, practices, and habits of mind that extends and deepens learning through engagement with the information ecosystem. It includes:
- understanding essential concepts about that ecosystem;
- engaging in creative inquiry and critical reflection to develop questions and to find, evaluate, and manage information through an iterative process;
- creating new knowledge through ethical participation in communities of learning, scholarship, and civic purpose;
- and adopting a strategic view of the interests, biases, and assumptions present in the information ecosystem.
Again, critical thinking and the ability to evaluate information are pertinent to the definition of information literacy.
To request instruction
We provide information literacy instruction through several different modes; much of our instruction is course-related and taught as part of class visit (in-person or online). To schedule a class visit, please contact the Librarian Liaison for your School at least two weeks in advance.
- Natural Sciences, Career Education: Jonas Lamb