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Guidelines for Assessment

The following guidelines are intended to assist librarians and teachers in assessing their students' information literacy skills.

Information Technology Literacy Skills:
Skills Needed in Order to Become Information Literate

In order to become information literate, students should have the following skills when entering college. The ability to:

  • type
  • use a word processing program
  • navigate the Internet
  • use email
  • print
  • save to a disk
  • manipulate a database

Information Literacy Skills:
Finding, Understanding, and Using Information

  • Competency Standards are based on ACRL guidelines.
  • Short-term Skills are those needed to complete the immediate assignment.
  • Responsibility to Teach refers to the party most likely to assess student learning in the specificed area.
  • Life-long Skills are those which students should transfer to post-college career.
Competency Standard Short-term Skill Responsibility to Teach Life-long Skill
The student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Thoroughly understands the requirements of the given assignment including the type of information needed and possible sources of this information.

Teacher and Librarian

Recognizes when information is needed to solve a problem and knows of possible sources of this information. (This may be as broad as the public library or as narrow as a telephone book).

Focuses the scope of the topic as needed. Teacher and Librarian Has the ability to select relevant information and disregard irrelevant.
The student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

Selects best investigative method such as literature search, laboratory experiment, etc.


Understands how information is organized in order to facilitate finding needed information. (Examples: uses a catalog to find books in a library; uses a search engine to find information about a car)
Constructs a search strategy using appropriate keywords and/or controlled vocabulary and refines as necessary. Librarian
The student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Reads and summarizes main points of a document.


Ability to think critically about information encountered in everyday life as well as information used in career.
Applies criteria for evaluation: authority, credibility, relevancy, currency, bias, etc. Librarian and Teacher
Recognizes document's relationship to other documents Teacher
The student uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Uses sources to support his or her own opinions and analysis.


Ability to incorporate information into everyday life and work in a useful and appropriate manner.
Correctly cites sources. Teacher and Librarian
The student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Understands that information is not free.


Understands that information is not free.

Abides by copyright law. Teacher and Librarian Abides by copyright law.

Does not plagiarize.

See above Does not plagiarize.
Uses the Internet appropriately, including "Netiquette," passwords, and respecting individuals' privacy.

See above

Uses the Internet appropriately, including "Netiquette," passwords, and respecting individuals' privacy.

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

Orr, Debbie, Margaret Appleton, and Margie Wallin. "Information Literacy and Flexible Delivery: Creating a Conceptual Framework and Model." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 27 (November 2001) 457-63.

Updated June 5, 2018