University of Guelph Library

University of Guelph Library tag line "Changing Lives, Improving Life" (JPG 10kb)

University of Guelph Library Ask Us! Service button and link to the initiative (PNG 6kb)

Information Literacy &  Instruction section title and link to its homepage (PNG – 10kb)

About Information Literacy

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Information literate individuals have the ability to recognize when and what information is needed, how to access it, how to evaluate it and how to use it effectively. In addition, being information literate means that students know how to use information responsibly and ethically.

To request a research skills session, please complete and submit our information literacy and instruction form.

Information literacy is much more than the acquisition of traditional library skills (how to use the library catalogue, how to locate a book, how to access an e-journal). According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), information literacy is a set of abilities enabling individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." Thus, Information literacy also encompasses internet literacy, media literacy and computer/technology literacy.

The University of Guelph Library believes that information literacy skills are skills students need to become critical thinkers for their studies and for lifelong learning. We base our Information Literacy program on the Association of College & Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000). The five standards are:

  1. Determine the extent of information needed.
  2. Access information effectively and efficiently.
  3. Evaluate information and sources critically.
  4. Use information effectively for a specific purpose.
  5. Use/incorporate information ethically and legally.

Essentially the goal of our higher education information literacy program is to develop leaders and thinkers who can independently:

  • Learn about a topic and issue;
  • Learn how to seek opinions and ideas from experts;
  • Seek contrasting perspectives; and
  • Rethink an argument by building on the ideas and arguments of others.
Learning Commons service delivery framework (JPG – 36kb)

Fig. 1. Learning commons service delivery framework.

We want to develop advanced information literacy skills in our users so that they are better able to

  • Free themselves from the irrelevant material;
  • Confidently present ideas free of plagiarism; and
  • Provide a critical evaluation of evidence in their writing.

What does our program look like?

There are several models of instruction currently in practice at the University of Guelph Library and Learning Commons. We support the information literacy initiatives by providing students, staff and faculty with a range of opportunities, formal and informal, for information literacy learning. These opportunities fall into one of three categories: Supplemental, Integrated and Embedded.

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