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  • Standish Library
    515 Loudon Road
    Siena College
    Loudonville, NY 12211
    (518) 783-2545


Philosophy of Information Literacy

Information Literacy and Instruction

Catherine Crohan
Instruction Librarian
(518) 782 - 6731 

Standish Library Philosophy of Information Literacy

We believe that information literacy is a required element of an undergraduate education for all majors. Siena College graduates must have the essential information literacy competencies to succeed as independent, lifelong learners in their careers, in civic leadership, and in all aspects of their personal lives.   The Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) emphasize the collaborative nature of information literacy:  librarians and classroom faculty working together on teaching research and information literacy skills to students. We recommend an integrated approach to learning throughout the four-year undergraduate experience.  We encourage the setting of information literacy goals as a part of the further refinement of the College’s general education program (Core Curriculum and First Year Seminar), as well as departmental learning goals.

The Standish Library endorses the following definition of information literacy promoted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education:

From:  Characteristics of Excellence, Standard 11: Educational Offerings (Context) p. 42
Several skills, collectively referred to as “information literacy,” apply to all disciplines in an institution’s curricula. These skills relate to a student’s competency in acquiring and processing information in the search for understanding, whether that information is sought in or through the facilities of a library, through practica, as a result of field experiments, by communications with experts in professional communities, or by other means. Therefore, information literacy is an essential component of any educational program at the graduate or undergraduate levels. 

These skills include the ability to:
• determine the nature and extent of needed information;
• access information effectively and efficiently;
• evaluate critically the sources and content of information;
• incorporate selected information in the learner’s knowledge base and value system;
• use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose;
• understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and information technology; and
• observe laws, regulations, and institutional policies related to the access and use of information.

Association of College and Research Libraries. Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, Approved 2003. 

—. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2000. 

 Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education. 12th. ed. Revised. Philadelphia: Middle States Commissioner on Higher Education, 2009.