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Beeghly Learning Outcomes: Information Literacy

The Library collaborates with colleagues within and outside the Library to provide an engaging personalized experience for our students that leads to a fulfilling life of service and ethical leadership in the global community.

What is Information Literacy?

According to the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), 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 also is increasingly important in the contemporary environment of rapid technological change and proliferating information resources. Because of the escalating complexity of this environment, individuals are faced with diverse, abundant information choices--in their academic studies, in the workplace, and in their personal lives. Information is available through libraries, community resources, special interest organizations, media, and the Internet--and increasingly, information comes to individuals in unfiltered formats, raising questions about its authenticity, validity, and reliability. The uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information pose large challenges for society. The sheer abundance of information will not in itself create a more informed citizenry without a complementary cluster of abilities necessary to use information effectively.

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

ACRL. Information literacy competency standards for higher education.

What is the Beeghly Library currently doing in regards to information literacy?

  • Information Access (IA)
    IA is a required course for all incoming students (freshmen, transfers, PAR – Program for Area Residents). The course is taught by IA assistants and introduces the new Juniata students to campus information technology, its network and computer applications needed for many courses at Juniata. Librarians wrote the content for the four Library Module sections. ( The modules are as follows: Selecting Resources, Searching for Information, Retrieving Resources and Evaluating and Using).
  • Library Instruction
    Beeghly Library’s Instruction Program has several formats giving Juniata’s students ample opportunity to become acquainted with the tools, skills, and resources to put them “on the road” to becoming information literate.
    • Introduction to Library Research – Every semester the library offers at least 2 sections of this 1 credit course that gives the students a much more in-depth study of when and which information resources to choose and how to effectively use them.
    • Course-related Library Instruction Sessions – Throughout each semester faculty members request librarians to conduct sessions that pertain to the studies and assignments specific their individual classes. This subject specific look at library resources presents the students with a more focused direction in regards to information sources and their proper usage. Many times these sessions provide a “hands-on” opportunity for students to research while having their professor and a librarian present for assistance. When appropriate, the librarians also make handouts (traditional & web-based) for the classes to use throughout the semester.
      Currently one of the courses with the most library sessions are CWS, the freshman writing seminar.
    • One-to-one Reference Instruction – When classes are in session, there is a librarian at the reference desk 52+ hours a week. During all class instruction, students are strongly encouraged to seek a librarian at any time for assistance. Students may make appointments with a librarian or come to the reference desk during reference hours. Librarians take those opportunities to ensure that the student knows what and how information resources could be used in the given situation. In addition, librarians give the student a calming sense that they don’t need to feel overwhelmed by the colossal amount of information barraging them; they can learn how to effectively find, evaluate, use, and learn from the information they really need.
    • Workshops - During the Fall Semester the library offers workshops open to all staff and students. These 45 minute sessions cover a variety of topics, such as the basics of research, using boolean operators and limiters, or specific databases / material format sessions.
  • LibGuides
    The Library uses LibGuides to organize and present Library materials to the College community. The addition of this product has enabled the library staff to better organize materials according to subject and also allow the creation of course or assignment specific research aides.