Information Literacy at Bell Library

What is information literacy?

According to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education:

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.

Information literacy is closely aligned with critical thinking, and students who are information literate approach information with an evaluative mindset. The library’s information literacy program aims to assist students in becoming more sophisticated and discerning in their attitude toward information and its sources, characteristics and uses.


Information literacy at Bell Library

Information literacy is the foundation of Bell Library’s instruction program, and informs the instruction librarians and staff perform in classrooms, at points of service, and in consultations. To this end, we developed a mission statement and learning outcomes mapped to Bloom’s Taxonomy and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education.

Mission statement

The mission of Bell Library’s Information Literacy program is to enable students to become successful researchers, lifelong learners, and responsible citizens through student-centered information literacy instruction. The program reaches students through skill-based, assignment-centered instruction sessions, and is reinforced by self-guided online resources. The program encourages collaboration between librarians and faculty members in order to provide students with learning opportunities that are relevant, effective, and targeted to authentic information needs.

We aim to accomplish this by:

  • Introducing research skills to students in the First Year Learning communities program
  • Integrating instruction into all levels of an academic program
  • Providing individualized research consultations at the Ask Us Desk or by appointment
  • Making accessible guides and tutorials available online via the Bell Library website

Student learning outcomes

Bell Library seeks to enable students to develop information literacy. By the time they graduate, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate effective research questions based on curiosity and gaps in information or data available (Bloom 4: Analyze; ACRL: Research as Inquiry)
  2. Demonstrate persistence, adaptability, and reflection as components of inquiry (Bloom 3: Apply; ACRL: Research as Inquiry)
  3. Apply research strategies and approaches that are appropriate for the need, context, and type on inquiry (Bloom 3: Apply; ACRL: Searching as Strategic Exploration)
  4. Select information sources that best meet an information need based on the audience, context, and purpose of various formats (Bloom 5: Evaluate; ACRL: Information Creation as a Process)
  5. Evaluate a source’s authority in the context of disciplines, professions, and other communities of knowledge and practice (Bloom 5: Evaluate; ACRL: Authority is Constructed and Contextual)
  6. Recognize that similar information may be presented in different formats (e.g. a newspaper article, scholarly article, blog post), which may affect interpretation of the information (Bloom 4: Analyze; ACRL: Information Creation as a Process)
  7. Critically examine a source and identify its contribution to the conversation surrounding a topic, as well as its perspective and potential biases. (Bloom 5: Evaluate; ACRL: Scholarship as a Conversation)
  8. Contribute to the conversation surrounding a topic at an appropriate level by responding to the contributions of others and /or creating one’s own contribution (Bloom 6: Create; ACRL: Scholarship as a Conversation)
  9. Demonstrate ethical responsibility by giving credit to the original ideas of others through attributions and/or formal conventions (Bloom 3: Apply; ACRL: Information Has Value)