We are committed to the goal of seeing York University students graduate with a level of “information literacy” (IL) that will allow them to become effective lifelong learners for career success, for making a contribution to their community, and for personal fulfillment. Librarians, through their reference work and teaching, ideally in close collaboration with course instructors, strive to impart to students the skills they need to find, evaluate, and use scholarly materials both in their course assignments and in their lives after graduation.
We believe that by the end of their stay at York University, students should have acquired the basic research skills needed to:
- Identify the nature and extent of information needed to address a problem.
- Identify sources for the required information and devise a strategy for acquiring it.
- Evaluate the quality and credibility of the information found.
- Analyze and synthesize the information effectively in relation to the original problem.
- Understand the economic, legal, social and poltical issues surrounding the production, context and use of information.
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has developed a set of Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education , which has been widely endorsed by Canadian academic libraries.
Librarians at York give some 700 information literacy classes every year in which they introduce these essential concepts to more than 25,000 students. We work closely with course instructors to contextualize these classes within the the context of the course itself and within the overarching academic field as well. Generally, we require a copy of the course syllabus as well as a copy of the research assignment students are expected to complete. We can provide guest lectures in your own lecture hall, or smaller hands-on sessions for upper-year undergraduate and graduate classes. Students who have the skills they need to engage fruitfully in the research process are less likely to get frustrated with assignments and resort to plagiarism.