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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
Communicating the Importance of Information Literacy for students
 at the University of Rhode Island



In the 21st Century, the ability to effectively and efficiently search for and evaluate information is increasingly critical. As a result, it is necessary for all URI students, staff, and faculty to be accomplished information users. Recognizing this, the University Libraries’ Public Service librarians provide an incremental long-range plan that provides information literacy instruction based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy (2015).
Drawing on the content and goals of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, URI is committed to graduating students who are information literate citizens and lifelong learners. 


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, 2015


Relationship of Information Literacy to Higher Education

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.

New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) Standards for Accreditation
(effective January 21, 2021) 
The following relevant selections from the Standards help to communicate the importance of information literacy for the students of the University of Rhode Island. 

Assuring Undergraduate Quality

4.12 Expectations for student achievement, independent learning, information literacy, skills in inquiry, and critical judgment are appropriate to the subject matter and degree level and in keeping with generally accepted practice.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

4.15 Graduates successfully completing an undergraduate program demonstrate competence in written and oral communication in English; the ability for scientific and quantitative reasoning,for critical analysis and logical thinking; and the capability for continuing learning, including the skills of information literacy. They also demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific, historical, and social phenomena, and a knowledge and appreciation of the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of humankind.

Faculty & Academic Staff 

6.2 There are an adequate number of faculty and academic staff, including librarians, advisors, and instructional designers, whose time commitment to the institution is sufficient to assure the accomplishment of class and out-of-class responsibilities essential for the fulfillment of institutional mission and purposes. Responsibilities include instruction, accessibility to students, and the systematic understanding of effective teaching/learning processes and outcomes in courses and programs for which they share responsibility; additional duties may include, e.g., student advisement, academic planning, and participation in policy-making, course and curricular development, research, and institutional governance. 

Information, Physical, and Technological Resources

7.22 The institution provides access to library and information resources, services, facilities, and qualified staff sufficient to support its teaching and learning environments and its research and public service mission as appropriate

Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure

9.2: Truthfulness, clarity, and fairness characterize the institution’s relations with all internal and external constituencies. Adequate provision is made to ensure academic honesty. Appropriate policies and procedures are in effect and periodically reviewed for matters including intellectual property rights, the avoidance of conflict of interest, privacy rights, and fairness in dealing with students, faculty, and staff. The institution’s educational policies and procedures are equitably applied to all its students.

9.3 The institution is committed to the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. It assures faculty and students the freedom to teach and study, to examine all pertinent data, to question assumptions, and to be guided by the evidence of scholarly research.

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

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


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


Further Resources

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Documented library contributions to student learning and success: Building evidence with team-based assessment in action campus projects.

Soria, K.M., Fransen, J., & Nackerud, S. (2014). Stacks, serials, search engines, and students' success: First-year undergraduate students' library use, academic achievement, and retention. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 40(1): 84–91.

Head, A.J., Fister, B., Geofrey, S., & MacMillan, M. (2022). The Project Information Literacy retrospective: Insights from more than a decade of information literacy research, 2008-2022. Project Information Research Institute. Project Information Literacy. 

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