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A guide for Faculty on why, more than ever, your students need help navigating the information options available to them.
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Information Literacy

What is information literacy?
"Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association . 2006."


Information Literacy and UM Library
One of the missions of UM Library is to help our students become information literate. We do this through our LibGuides, library instruction classes and helping students one on one with their research. Most of our LibGuides have information literacy built in, but we're working to provide more in-depth guides. Faculty can check out the Library Instruction tab on this guide to see what kinds of library instruction we offer for them and their students.


    But our students are very comfortable with technology and information gathering...

    Project Information Literacy is a national study about early adults and their information-seeking behaviors, competencies, and the challenges they face when conducting research in the digital age.

    How will today's freshmen make the critical transition from high school to college? Does technological literacy and familiarity with devices equate with information literacy and critical thinking skills required to not only find, but organize and evaluate information available?

    Libguides and library instruction are some of the discipline specific tools the library provides to help students begin to filter information and hone critical thinking skillsets.


    What about the Library?


    Beyond Freshman Year

    Based in University of Washington's iSchool, the large-scale research project investigates how early adults on different college campuses conduct research for course work and how they conduct "everyday research" for use in their daily lives...


    More than ever before...

    your students need help filtering information!


    Information Hydrant via Will Lion @Flickr


    Reach our Librarians

    To discuss or schedule your information literacy needs, you can reach our Public Services Staff at 251-442-2246 or toll free 1-800-946-7267 during library hours or you can email us at

    Interesting Links on Information and Accessibility

    • ‘Who is Rodney King?’ ‘Who is Dick Clark?’ ‘The Titanic was real?!?’
      This story details how major news events expose generational "information" gaps, especially on anniversary dates in history or deaths of older celebrities. Even tho Gen. X could use Google to research these people they won't and don't. Are we seeing a phenomenon of something in plentiful supply (information) becoming de-valued?
    • Generation X and The Millennials: What You Need to Know About Mentoring the New Generations
      Once you understand where the newer generations are "coming from," as a Boomer (born 1946-1964) might say, it’s easy to target your mentoring style to bring out their strengths and make the most progress. Remember to discard biases and pre-conceived notions, and you and your mentees from all generations enjoy your generational differences—and similarities!
    • Study Shows Universities May Be Failing to Teach Basic Research Skills
      New research finds plenty of students use social networks, like Facebook, to find information in their everyday lives, but few are using other Web 2.0 tools -- blogs, wikis, video sharing sites -- to manage or collaborate on course research assignments.

    • Improving Research Skills
      A study out of Illinois-Chicago shows that college seniors who have utilized libraries and built positive information seeking behavior via library services have dramatically improved their information literacy skills compared to their freshmen counterparts. The seniors were also more inclined to ask for help and understand that librarians were there to assist them, rather than support academia in general.

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