What is information literacy and how can I incorporate it into my classroom?

What is information literacy?

Information literacy is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries as "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."[1]

Why is information literacy important?

  • Acquiring skills to translate information into knowledge is relevant to all disciplines.
  • Better research skills can produce more effectively-argued research papers.
  • Information literacy empowers students to learn for themselves and make informed decisions.
  • Students are new to scholarship and the academy, and their mental models can be different from those of faculty.
  • Information literacy gives students strategies to look for bias and assess context when evaluating information.
  • Information literacy is linked to professional competency and gives graduates skills that are relevant to their work and personal lives.

How can I incorporate information literacy into my courses?

Your subject liaison is your first point of contact for engaging library services in support of teaching and learning. We will work with you to integrate information skills and instruction into your course. Librarians at Dalhousie are skilled and experienced in teaching a variety of class types and levels, working in a variety of instruction environments, and collaborating with faculty on the development and delivery of information literacy curricula.

Some of the instruction services we provide are:

  • customized in-class sessions
  • collaborative faculty/librarian design and delivery of course material
  • customized subject guides for research
  • consultation services and research appointments for students and faculty

Where can I go to learn more about information literacy?

Consult the following standards, frameworks, and guidelines for examples of how information literacy has been defined and is being incorporated into curricula at academic institutions around the world.

North America

United Kingdom

Australia and New Zealand


[1] Association of College and Research Libraries (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework