What is information literacy?

"Metatablet" feat. Amarna Letter, ca. 1350 BC, NY Metropolitan Museum

As defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), information literacy is a "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."​

Core Concepts

CCA Libraries' information literacy instruction is grounded on the following six foundational concepts, as identified and described in the ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Lessons and activities are designed around these core concepts and CCA's Information Literacy learning outcome.

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

"Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required."

Information Creation as a Process

"Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences."

Information Has Value

"Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination."

Research as Inquiry

"Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field."

Scholarship as Conversation

"Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations."

Searching as Strategic Exploration

"Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops."

Image: Ransom, Daniel. Metatablet. 2017, featuring Amarna letter: Royal Letter from Ashur-uballit, the king of Assyria, to the king of Egypt. ca. 1353–1336 B.C., New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.