When we talk about information competency, information fluency, or information literacy, we are essentially talking about the ability to find, understand, and use information thoughtfully, effectively, and responsibly. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) more broadly defines information literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” Information literacy is a crucial aspect of a liberal education.

At the Seeley G. Mudd Library, the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education informs our understanding of information literacy, but we also draw on our experiences with classes and with our reference and research interactions with students in forming our approach to information literacy at Lawrence. Our framework focuses on four important ideas related to scholarship, research and information:

  • scholarship is a conversation
  • research is a form of inquiry
  • searching is part of strategic exploration of ideas
  • intellectual authority is constructed and contextual

The library’s full statement on information literacy is available on the web, along with our research guides. If you’d like to learn more about what the library can do to support your work on information literacy in your classes, please contact Gretchen Revie, Reference Librarian and Instruction Coordinator.