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Information Literacy Standards and Outcomes for Students

Our Framework

Information literacy is 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

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. ACRL Chicago 2016.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) framework recognizes the increasing responsibilities that students, faculty and librarians have in fostering information literacy in this era of dynamic information growth. “Metaliteracy” expands the scope of information literacy by acknowledging that in the growing environment, information is not only acquired, but produced and shared in collaborative communities. Effective participation in this environment requires knowledge and skills that build on those traditionally associated with information literacy (Reframing Information Literacy as Metaliteracy. Mackey & Jacobsen, 2011).

Our Standards

The New England Commission for Higher Education (NECHE) Standards for Accreditation specifies information literacy as an expected outcome of higher education; including access to information resources, learning spaces, and professional librarian support (see Standard Four: Academic Program, Standard Six: Teaching Learning and Scholarship and Standard Seven: Institutional Resources).

Information literacy is a critical component of lifelong learning, and is essential to all disciplines, learning environments, and education levels. UNE’s strategic plan: Our World, Our Future: Strategic Plan 2018-2023 identifies information literacy as one of the cross-disciplinary habits of mind upon which we will focus to support the university’s mission to prepare students to thrive in a rapidly-changing world and to improve the health of people, communities, and our planet. 

Our Goals

UNE’s academic programs identify specific information literacy goals for their disciplines, with assistance from librarians as needed. UNE Librarians recommend the following general competencies be acquired by all students:

Undergraduate Students Will Be Able To:

  • Understand how materials are organized in the UNE Libraries’ physical and online environments
  • Construct effective search strategies
  • Search the UNE library catalog by keyword, title, author, and subject heading
  • Use a general academic database, such as ProQuest Central or Academic Search Complete
  • Read the most common forms of citations
  • Distinguish between scholarly and popular information sources
  • Distinguish between free Web sources and fee-based Web sources
  • Evaluate an information source for quality and appropriateness
  • Understand how to use information ethically
  • Cite information completely and accurately according to the appropriate style format

In Addition to the Above, Graduate Students Will be Able to:

  • Define and articulate their need for information; and identify the library liaison for their discipline or subject area
  • Identify, access, and use a variety of relevant resources specific to their discipline (e.g., books, e-books, journals, databases, government documents, primary/secondary sources, websites, etc.)
  • Locate information within the UNE Library or order it through interlibrary loan as appropriate
  • Evaluate and select information for quality, accuracy, authority, and reliability, using informed judgment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of copyright and fair use

Library Instruction Services

As Research and Teaching Librarians, assuring that your students achieve these critical information literacy outcomes is our first priority. Learn more about our classroom teaching & support services to support information literacy in the classroom.