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Instruction Services & Information Literacy

This guide provides an overview of the wide range of instructional programs and services the University Libraries offer.

Rationale & Supporting Documents

Information Literacy Program @ the URI University Libraries

Rationale and Supporting Documents


In the 21st Century, the ability to effectively and efficiently search for and evaluate information is increasingly critical. As a result, it is a necessity for all URI students, staff, and faculty to be accomplished information users. Recognizing this, the University Libraries’ Public Services librarians provide an incremental long range plan that provides information literacy instruction based on the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) and on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy (2015).


Drawing on the content and goals of the ACRL Information Literacy Competencies and Framework, URI is committed to graduating students who are information literate citizens and lifelong learners. “Information literacy is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed and assume greater control over their own learning.” American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1989).


What is Information Literacy?

“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 & Research Libraries  Framework for Information Literacy, Introduction 2015


Information literacy is a set of abilities enabling individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association,1989.)


IFLA Statement on Global Information Literacy

“Information Literacy lies at the core of lifelong learning. It empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations.“

IFLA Beacons of the Information Society: The Alexandria Proclamation on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning


Relationship of Information Literacy to Higher Education


New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Standards (July 2016)

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commision on Institutions of Higher Education Standards specify that graduates of New England higher education institutions should demonstrate information literacy competency including the capability for lifelong learning. (4.12 and 4.15)  


Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). College Learning for the New Global Century. 2007.

The AAC&U report, College Learning for the New Global Century, information literacy is discussed as one of the essential learning outcomes that students need to master in order to be successful scholars as well as engaged citizens of the world. Librarians teach credit courses, and also work to integrate information literacy instruction into the university curriculum by collaborating with subject faculty to guide and support students in both direct and indirect instruction of information literacy concepts and practices.

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy (2015)

The Framework is organized into six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions. The six concepts that anchor the frames are

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

  • Information Creation as a Process

  • Information Has Value

  • Research as Inquiry

  • Scholarship as Conversation

  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2001)

Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Standard 2: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

Standard 3: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Standard 4: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Standard 5: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.


The ACRL Standards have been the foundation of academic information literacy programs since 2000. The 2015 ACRL Framework for Information Literacy moves information literacy forward by addressing “ the great potential for information literacy as a deeper, more integrated learning agenda, addressing academic and technical courses, undergraduate research, community-based learning, and co-curricular learning experiences of entering freshman through graduation. The Framework focuses attention on the vital role of collaboration and its potential for increasing student understanding of the processes of knowledge creation and scholarship. The Framework also emphasizes student participation and creativity, highlighting the importance of these contributions”


ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education - Educational Role of Libraries

This set of standards underlines the important pedagogical role of librarians in helping students develop a strong academic ethic, learn solid research skills, and establish a foundation of the 21st Century information literate citizen.

3. Educational Role: Libraries partner in the educational mission of the institution to develop and support information-literate learners who can discover, access, and use information effectively for academic success, research, and lifelong learning.

3.1 Library personnel collaborate with faculty and others regarding ways to incorporate library collections and services into effective education experiences for students.

3.2 Library personnel collaborate with faculty to embed information literacy learning outcomes into curricula, courses, and assignments.

3.3 Library personnel model best pedagogical practices for classroom teaching, online tutorial design, and other educational practices.

3.4 Library personnel provide regular instruction in a variety of contexts and employ multiple learning platforms and pedagogies.

3.5 Library personnel collaborate with campus partners to provide opportunities for faculty professional development.

3.6 The library has the IT infrastructure to keep current with advances in teaching and learning technologies


University of Rhode Island – Academic Context


University of Rhode Island Mission Statement:

“...Embracing Rhode Island’s heritage of independent thought, we value:

  • Creativity and Scholarship

  • Diversity, Fairness, and Respect

  • Engaged Learning and Civic Involvement

  • Intellectual and Ethical Leadership”


The libraries’ campus-wide leadership and advocacy for, and  teaching of, information literacy directly support and prepare students for success at the university and beyond.


University of Rhode Island, Academic Strategic Plan, 2016 - 2021

Goal 01: Strategy 1, Action 7

Advance student support through information literacy.

The University Libraries contribute the success of our students through our commitment to our Information Literacy Plan and Program. While research is still being done on the full impact of Information literacy programs on student success, retention, and completion, recent studies strongly suggest a positive impact.


Association of College and Research Libraries. Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects. Web. 2015.


Soria, Krista M.,, Jan Fransen, and Shane Nackerud.Stacks, Serials, Search Engines, and Students' Success: First-Year Undergraduate Students' Library Use, Academic Achievement, and Retention.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 40.1 (2014) 84–91.


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