Information Literacy

Definition

Students who get the most from York find ways to navigate a vast and daunting array of information resources available to them by actively engaging in the research process, consulting authorities from outside the confines of the classroom, and working toward finding their own voices within the larger academic discourse. Scholarly books, journal articles, credible websites, and other reliable resources can help them to reach their intellectual potentials.

Students who understand that there is a relationship between the quality of material they consult in the research process and the quality of work they ultimately produce are already well on their way to being information literate. But to be good researchers they also need to understand how to develop effective research questions, the ways in which various academic fields structure their literatures, the differences between popular and scholarly treatments of a subject, and how to locate, evaluate, use, and cite the resources needed to inform and support their own arguments. In addition, the most sophisticated researchers have an understanding of the politics of research — the social, cultural and ethical issues surrounding the production and use of information in a variety of contexts.

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.  This web site can be consulted for those who want to learn more about the wide and varied skills and competencies, which are relevant in the context of information literacy.

Policy & Planning

The Libraries’ Information Literacy Committee develops and promotes an information literacy program for York University Libraries, coordinating library-wide initiatives with department-based instruction and faculty liaison activity. It also develops and carries out an annual set of objectives within the context of a more general five-year set of goals, adjusted annually as necessary.

Contact Dana Craig, Information Literacy Librarian, at dcraig@yorku.ca for more information.

  • Information Literacy Manifesto 2005-2010
    This document outlines York University Libraries’ vision for Information Literacy during the five year period 2005-2010 and includes a statement of goals and objectives for this period.