Information literacy is the ability to think critically about finding and using information for a specific purpose, whether for educational research, on the job decision making, or personal need.
Our mission at the Meriam Library is to incorporate information literacy into the university curriculum by focusing our efforts on teaching students these skills during the process of research. Being able to develop a quality research question, and to locate, evaluate, and successfully synthesize that information into a quality research product are critical components of college success. We believe that teaching information literacy skills within the context of course-related research will not only improve student research, but also allow students to apply and transfer these skills to other domains, both in their college careers, and beyond. This approach furthers the library’s aim of fostering lifelong-learning and curiosity in our students.
The Meriam Library’s commitment to information literacy instruction is part of an institution-wide recognition of the value and importance of information literacy and critical thinking in student’s lives. Indeed, CSU, Chico’s Strategic Plan for the Future affirms as one of the university’s goals to “[a]ssure that all students achieve basic and discipline-based information literacy skills and that students understand their responsibilities related to the ethical use of information.” Additionally, information literacy is a key focus for university accreditation. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) considers information literacy one of five “core competencies” for Baccalaureate programs, along with written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking. The library, following WASC university-wide recommendations towards increased effectiveness and accountability, has established the following learning outcomes and related performance indicators to implement and assess student retention of information literacy skills at California State University, Chico.
The information literate California State University, Chico Student will be able to:
Outcome #1: Identify a research question and craft a clear, manageable thesis.
Outcome #2: Skillfully find information related to their research question.
Outcome #3: Think critically in order to evaluate and synthesize information into their research product.
Outcome #4: Ethically use information.
A PDF version of these standards is available for download.
There are four major ways the library can help you incorporate information literacy into your course.
Library Instruction Office
Meriam Library, 212