Information Literacy at IUP

  • 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.”

    —From the Association of College and Research Libraries. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. (Chicago: American Library Association, 2000.)

    Information Literacy Framework

    The information literacy framework was developed by the ACRL board as a tool for incorporating the competency standards into higher education. The six core concepts of the framework are below:

    1. Authority is Constructed and Contextual
    2. Information Creation as a Process
    3. Information has Value
    4. Research as Inquiry
    5. Scholarship as Conversation
    6. Searching as Strategic Exploration

    These frames can and should be incorporated into subject curriculum throughout a student’s education to help them understand how information plays a critical role in their studies and future careers. 

    —Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. (American Library Association. February 2, 2015)

    Information Literacy at IUP

    IUP Strategic Plan 2015–20

    • Goal 1 : Providing academic programs of high quality and value. One of the strategies to complete this goal is the use of interdisciplinary teaching (Strategy 1.2). Information literacy, by nature, extends over every discipline. Learning objectives that focus on information literacy can expand critical thinking skills by requiring students to evaluate and question the information they use every day.
    • Goal 2: Prepare IUP students for success in work and life. Tactic 2.3.6 encourages using out-of-classroom learning experiences and related cocurricular activities. Information Literacy aligns with this goal and extends far beyond the classroom. When students search for jobs and internships, they are using information literacy skills. When students apply for positions, they are using information literacy skills. Our librarians are eager to work with your students to help them

    Information Literacy as Part of Curricula

    Credit-bearing instruction can provide a valuable foundation for information literacy for your students. These classes are highly recommended as in introduction to information literacy and provide a foundation that can grow through your entire curriculum. We usually recommend taking a credit-bearing information literacy course at the same time as a writing intensive course.

    Library Instruction sessions involve a librarian coming to your class as a guest speaker for one or more class sessions. This type of instruction provides the best outcomes when it is paired with a research-oriented assignment that requires the students to find, evaluate, and use information sources. It is a wonderful supplement to the foundations offered in the credit bearing courses.

    If you would like to incorporate information literacy into your curriculum in another way, please contact Maria Barefoot at (724) 357-2338 or e-mail

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