Collaborate with reference librarians to promote information literacy skills through library instruction or online tutorials

February 17, 2015

Did you know that librarians can tailor workshops for your courses that focus on one or more of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education described by the Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL)? The ACRL standards define information literacy as the ability of individuals to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically.

Most library instruction sessions focus on Standard Two (locating information). However, you can request a customized library instruction workshop that addresses any number of the five ACRL standards:

1. Recognizing when information is needed (Standard 1)
    • Choosing/Narrowing a Topic
    • Identifying the Types of Information Needed
2. Locating the information (Standard 2)
    • Selecting Keywords
    • Searching a subject-specific database
3. Evaluating the information (Standard 3)
    • Evaluating Sources
    • Evaluating Information from the Web
    • Identifying Scholarly, Popular, and Trade Journals
4. Using the information effectively (Standard 4)
    • Writing an Annotated Bibliography
    • Conducting a Literature Review
    • Organizing Sources for the Writing Process
5. Using the information ethically (Standard 5)
    • Avoiding Plagiarism
    • Citing Sources

Library instruction sessions may include one or more of these topics or address other topics not included in these examples. For more information about how the library supports information literacy learning outcomes or to schedule a workshop for your course, contact your subject-specialist librarian or Britt McGowan at

Don’t have time in your class schedule to devote to a library instruction class session? The UWF Libraries host several online tutorials that focus on the ACRL information literacy standards. Instructors can assign these tutorials as required in their courses. The tutorials can be embedded in E-Learning. Each tutorial includes a quiz that assesses relevant student learning outcomes.

This tip is based on teaching strategy submitted by Britt McGowan, Information Literacy Librarian, University of West Florida Libraries.

cma 2/18/15