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Faculty Toolkit

“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.” -Association of College and Research Libraries, "Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education," American Library Association, last modified January 11, 2016.

The Library & Information Literacy

What are Threshold Concepts?

The threshold concepts of information literacy provide the backbone to general education outcomes and subject mastery. By mastering the threshold concepts for information literacy students gain a valuable competency and transferrable skills, which will help them both in and out of the classroom.

Threshold concepts can be thought of as portals through which the learner must pass in order to develop new perspectives and wider understanding. Developing meaning and the ability to transfer understanding has the greatest affect on students when librarians are able to move away from "teaching the tools" in instructional sessions toward student grasping of threshold concepts.

What is the Library's Role in Achieving Information Literacy Outcomes?

Or, why should faculty give up classroom time for Information Literacy Instruction?

Librarians possess the knowledge and expertise to expose information sources and introduce skills that allow students to achieve learning goals established by course faculty.  In addition to supporting immediate information and research needs, librarians are able to address information literacy student learning outcomes during instruction sessions, scaffolding students towards fluency throughout their education.  Librarians collaborate with faculty to determine appropriate student learning outcomes for instructional sessions that may be adapted from the following. Depending on the number of outcomes agreed upon, librarians may suggest additional sessions.

Information Literacy Student Learning Outcomes

  • Make connections between the importance of matching information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools
  • Appraise the value of various sources depending on their information requirements
  • Understand the purpose of citations and their place in larger realm of research
  • Reflect on the usefulness of making mistakes in the search process and how searching is not solely transactional
  • Determine attributes of authoritative information for different needs, with the understanding that context plays a role in authority-based attributes