Library Instruction

Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

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."

The Schurz Library Instruction Program strives to instill the concepts of Information Literacy in our students. In every instruction session and one-on-one at the Reference desk, librarians are teachers – helping students to learn not just how to find information at any given moment – but how to see that information and the information-seeking process in a larger way.

Q110 is the Introduction to Information Literacy course. This is course is required as part of the General Education curriculum.

Q510 is a graduate course titled Topics in Information Literacy. While primarily designed for students in the Master of Liberal Studies program, the course is open to other IU South Bend graduate students.

The Schurz Library has adopted these Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction (revised from the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards)

Schurz Library's Information Literacy objectives:

  • Provides the student with an understanding of the organization of knowledge and information, including terminology and types of resources available.
  • Teaches students how to construct a research question and form a research strategy, including the selection of appropriate research tools.
  • Provides the student with the theory, skill and technique required to be an effective online databases searcher.
  • Helps the student to apply knowledge gained about types of resources, search strategy and the organization of information to the critical evaluation and use of materials.
  • Introduces students to issues regarding the ethical and legal use of information.
  • Encourages student to develop research skills and habits that will contribute to their success as students and future professionals.

Faculty Collaboration

True information literacy competency is best achieved when librarians and disciplinary faculty collaborate to introduce students to information literacy concepts throughout the curriculum.

The introduction to information literacy course, Q110, is a broad introduction to the concepts and skills necessary to be an information literate person.

Only through continued use and expansion of information literacy skills throughout the curriculum can students truly become competent in finding and using information. Additional instruction and utilization of more specialized resources in some upper-level courses is desirable. To that end, we encourage faculty to design assignments that include the use of advanced information resources and consult with librarians when advanced instruction in the use of these resources is advantageous for the students.

Additional Information Literacy resources:

Introduction to Information Literacy (from ACRL)

Information Literacy for Faculty (from ACRL)

For more information, contact:

Nancy Wootton Colborn
Head of Information Literacy Services
(574) 520-4321

Last Reviewed: 03/2014