What is Information Literacy? 

        The ability to:      

  1. Determine the nature and extent of the information needed
  2. Access needed information effectively and efficiently
  3. Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  5. Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally

Why do we need Information Literacy? 

Information competent people have learned how to learn.  They know how information is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them.  They are people prepared for lifelong learning because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision that presents itself.

Information literacy is a critical skill for student success.  Research indicates that students who are information competent will have greater success in completing their degrees.  It will help to ensure that students will be able to function successfully in our Information Age.

How to incorporate Information Literacy standards at YVC?

Utilize the YVC Information Literacy Rubric when preparing and evaluating assignments.  Provide students with meaningful assignments that require locating, retrieving, evaluating and utilizing a variety of information resources.  Consider the Library as an extension of the classroom through collaboration between the classroom faculty and the faculty reference librarians to develop and assess Information Literacy related assignments and activities. Provide opportunities for students to attend Library sponsored workshops or participate in online information literacy tutorials

To this end, the faculty reference librarians developed the following Information Literacy plan:.

YVC Faculty Reference Librarian Information Literacy Plan*

Strive to incorporate Information Literacy in the mission of the college. 

The acquisition of Information Literacy should become an integral part of learning in all subjects across the curriculum.  Without a “buy-in” by faculty, librarians, students, and administrators, Information Literacy cannot become a reality.  The faculty can use all opportunities to build into their courses the teaching of information skills and devise assignments that require students to locate, retrieve, analyze, and manage information.

Strengthen the partnership between faculty and librarians.  Faculty/Library collaboration may include the following:

  • Provide a copy of the assignment to the librarians.
  • Schedule consultation between librarian and faculty:
    •     if students become frustrated with the assignment
    •     upon successful completion of assignment
  •  Update or revise assignments, based on Library acquisitions and services.
  • Schedule Library instruction and hands-on experience tailored to specific assignments and courses.
  • Update or revise instruction and hands-on experience based on Library acquisitions.

Increase opportunities for faculty and staff to update Information Literacy skills.

  • Provide Information Literacy related workshops specifically developed for faculty & staff
  • Encourage faculty reference librarians to participate in division/department meetings to promote Information Literacy
  • Develop Information Literacy handouts for classroom/Library distribution

Strive to insure that YVC students develop the following Information Literacy skills.

  • Recognize when information is needed and formulate clear concise questions based on information needs.
  • Match information needs to information resources and organize an effective search strategy/plan, including Boolean logic.
  • Select and use appropriate information retrieval tools in print and electronic formats, including the online catalog, periodical databases, Internet, print indexes, and reference books.
  • Synthesize and organize information for various applications.
  • Apply information to critical thinking and problem-solving situations.
  • Communicate or “publish” research ideas electronically in textual or multimedia forms.
  • Appreciate that being an information-competent individual requires ongoing involvement in learning and evaluating emergent technology so that lifelong learning is possible.
  • Understand how knowledge is generated, organized, stored, and transmitted.
  • Understand some of the major ethical, legal, economic, and socio-political issues surrounding information and information technology.

*Developed by the Yakima Valley College Faculty Reference Librarians

Related Links

American Library Association – Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards – These standards were reviewed by the ACRL Standards Committee and approved by the Board of Directors of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) on January 18, 2000. ACRL IL Standards, excluding the guidelines

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education – This Framework was filed by the Board of Directors of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) on February 2, 2015,to augment and enrich the IL Standards of January 18, 2000.

ACRL Instruction Section – The ACRL Instruction Section supports and develops librarians as teachers.  Their Education Committee sponsors a Continuing Education Calendar and  BI-L is a great place to share tips and tricks and to learn about information literacy efforts across the country.

ILAGO (Information Literacy Advocacy Group of Oregon) – Review and report is intended to provide Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) leaders and the academic community with 1) a clear view of the current state of the literature on value of libraries within an institutional context, 2) suggestions for immediate “Next Steps” in the demonstration of academic library value, and 3) a “Research Agenda” for articulating academic library value.

PRIMO: Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online – a means to promote and share peer reviewed instructional materials created by librarians to teach people about discovering, accessing and evaluating information in networked environments.

Information Literacy is a central issue in higher education. The Information Literacy sites listed above are intended to be used as tools for developing materials and assignments for courses.  If you are an employee of YVC and locate additional Information Literacy sites that you believe should be added to this list please email the Reference Librarians.


Information and Research Information developed for two year colleges.

Please note:  YVC uses Dewey for our call numbers.  The second line is generally up to 8 characters of the author’s last name.