Western Libraries

Information Literacy

What is information literacy?

Information literacy, or IL, is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries as "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".¹

Information Literacy includes the set of abilities and skills enabling students to:

Efffectively Access, critically Assess, efficiently Assimilate, and responsibly Apply information.

How can I incorporate information literacy into my courses?

Your liaison librarian is your first point of contact for engaging library services in support of teaching and learning. We work with you to create an integrated approach to information literacy instruction for your students. Librarians at Western Libraries are skilled and experienced in providing a variety of class types, working in a variety of instruction environments, and collaborating with faculty on the development and delivery of information literacy curricula. To support this work, Western Libraries has developed Information Literacy Learning Outcomes (ILLOs), designed to work in tandem with the Western Degree Outcomes (WDOs). These ILLOs cover a range of topics including the responsible creation and use of information, and the development of enduring research skills.

Some of the instruction services we provide are:

Where can I go to learn more about information literacy?

Consult the following standards, frameworks, and guidelines for examples of how IL has been defined and is being incoporated into curricula at academic institutions around the world.

North America

The Ontario Council of Academic Vice Presidents' Guidelines for Graduating Competencies (UDLES & GDLES) 

ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education website

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

United Kingdom

CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

SCONUL: The Society of College, National and University Libraries

Australia and New Zealand

Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy


IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

(1) Association of College and Research Libraries (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework