The concept variously termed information competency, information fluency or information literacy is the ability to find and use information reflectively and responsibly; information literacy is a crucial aspect of liberal education. For more information about information literacy at Lawrence, please contact Gretchen Revie.

Information Literacy Abilities and Skills

Students who are equipped to be life-long learners possess the following abilities and skills:

  • The ability to frame researchable questions
    • can formulate a thesis, argument or position to be explored
    • can identify concepts and develop a list of key terms that relate to their questions
  • The ability to recognize, locate and effectively use different sources of information
    • understand that different disciplines may conduct research and organize information in different ways
    • understand that different disciplines may address a single question from different perspectives
    • understand that kinds of sources have their own sets of conventions (in terms of indexing, database structure, timeliness, etc.) and that these can be learned
  • The ability to evaluate the sources and information found
    • can compare information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority and bias
    • can recognize the cultural, physical, economic and other contexts within which information is created and understand the impact of context on interpreting information
  • The ability to recognize that research is an evolving, non-linear process
    • can analyze and evaluate the results of their searches and can determine when alternative approaches are needed
    • appropriately consult professors and librarians for further suggestions and assistance
  • The ability to synthesize, integrate and apply the information found in accordance with ethical principles of information use
    • can appropriately organize and present the results of their work
    • can cite different types of resources according to the relevant style of documentation
    • understand the difference between information and knowledge

This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list, but might provide starting points for discussions about the ways the library fits into Lawrence’s educational mission.