PSLA09 First Year College Students & Information Literacy
First-year College Students
& Information Literacy:
What Skills Are Needed
Information Literacy Librarian
Penn State University
1. Interactive and participatory
2. What IL Skills are needed most?
a. IL skills & standards
b. What you think
c. What others think
3. Examples of K-16 skill continuums
4. Examples of college research assignments
5. Discussion, questions, etc.
Why is this discussion important?
• Your seniors are our freshmen
• Mandates & assessment
• We have shared expectations (lifelong learning)
• So we can understand our students better
• Share best practices
What type of library do you work in?
1. High school
2. Middle school
3. Elementary school
4. Public Library
5. Academic Library
6. Another kind of library
What percentage of freshman do you think
are “adequately prepared” for college-level
1. 0 - 20% are adequately prepared
2. 21 - 40%
3. 41- 60%
4. 61- 80%
AASL & ACRL Standards
• AASL: Information Literacy Skills for Student
• ACRL: Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Ed (Post-secondary)
• AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner
• 3 categories, 9
• General and
to be customized
• Address information
literacy plus social
Category I: Information Literacy
Standard 1: Accesses information efficiently and effectively
Standard 2: Evaluates information critically and competently
Standard 3: Uses information effectively and creatively
Category II: Independent Learning
Standard 4: Pursues information related to personal interests
Standard 5: Appreciates and enjoys literature and other creative expressions of
Standard 6: Strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge
Category III: Social Responsibility
Standard 7: Recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society
Standard 8: Practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information
Standard 9: Participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate
• 5 standards, many indicators and outcomes
• Emphasis on cognitive skills
• Picks up where AASL leaves off
Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and extent
of the information needed.
Standard 2: The information literate student accesses needed information
effectively and efficiently.
Standard 3: The information literate student evaluates information and its
sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her
knowledge base and value system.
Standard 4: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a
group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
Standard 5: The information literate student understands many of the
economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and
accesses and uses information ethically and legally.
AASL Standards for the 21st C. Learner
• 4 standards +
skills, responsibilities, dispositions & strategies
• Broader in scope, address multiple literacies:
A C o m p a ris o n o f th e B a s ic T e n e ts o f th e
AASL & ACRL Standards Compared
A C R L In fo rm a tio n L ite ra c y C o m p e te n c y S ta n d a rd s fo r H ig h e r E d u c a tio n
a n d th e A A S L / A E C T In fo rm a tio n L ite ra c y S ta n d a rd s fo r S tu d e n t L e a rn in g
A A S L /A E C T K -1 2 S ta n d a rd s A C R L P o s t-S e c o n d a ry S ta n d a rd s
A n In fo rm a tio n lite ra te in d ivid u a l is a b le to :
D e te rm in e th e e xte n t o f in fo rm a tio n
A c c e s s in fo rm a tio n e fficie n tly a n d
e ffe ctive ly
A c c e s s th e n e e d e d in fo rm a tio n
e ffe ctive ly a n d e fficie n tly
E va lu a te in fo rm a tio n critica lly a n d E va lu a te in fo rm a tio n a n d its so u rce s
co m p e te n tly critica lly
In c o rp o ra te se le cte d in fo rm a tio n in to
o n e ’s kn o w le d g e b a se
U s e in fo rm a tio n a ccu ra te ly a n d
cre a tive ly
U s e in fo rm a tio n e ffe ctive ly to
a cco m p lish a sp e cific p u rp o se
U n d e rs ta n d th e e co n o m ic, le g a l a n d
A d d re sse d w ith in th e th re e S o cia l so cia l issu e s su rro u n d in g th e u se o f
R e sp o n sib ility sta n d a rd s in fo rm a tio n , a n d a cce ss a n d u se
in fo rm a tio n e th ica lly a n d le g a lly
Table prepared by Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Penn State University, used with permission
Which IL standard do you think is MOST
important for an entering freshman to have?
1. Access information effectively and efficiently
2. Evaluate information critically and competently
3. Use information accurately and creatively
What some others thought:
• Inspired today’s questions
• Survey by Robert Schroeder of 40 school &
academic librarians in OR
• % adequately prepared:
– High school librarians majority answered 21-40%
– Academic librarians majority answered 0-20%
What some others thought (cont.)
• Related to the standards:
– Majority of combined respondents:
• #1 = “accesses needed information effectively and
• #2 = “determines the nature and extent of the information
– However, large spread between high school &
academic librarians’ responses for these 2 areas
– High school librarians placed more emphasis on
“evaluates information and its sources critically and
incorporates selected information into knowledge
Acquisition of skills: where and when
• Rochester Regional Library Council’s “Core
Library and Research Skills Grade 9-14+”
CLOC group continuum
Community Librarians Outreach and Collaboration, K-16 Information Literacy Skills Checklist.
Oregon’s 8 Proficiencies
Students who are ready to begin upper-division
1. Identify gaps in their knowledge.
2. Find information efficiently and effectively.
3. Evaluate and select information.
4. Treat research as a multi-stage, recursive learning
5. Ethically, legally, and safely use information .
6. Recognize safety issues.
7. Manipulate and manage information.
8. Create, produce, and communicate.
Oregon Information Literacy Summit: http://blogs.library.oregonstate.edu/ilsummit/2007-
Examples of assignments
English (Rhetoric & Composition)
Find a topic and format that lend themselves to at least 5 pages
of rigorous analysis backed up by at least three respectable
Identify a problem or issue, take a stand, translate your stand
into a thesis statement, support the reasons for your position
with details and examples that you’ve discovered during the
course of your research, and marshal your reasoning, research,
and appeals as you try to persuade others to accept your
Communication Arts & Sciences (Speech)
…research one issue of civic importance and do three speeches
on the one subject throughout the semester.
…Each speech has a bibliographic requirement of 5-7
sources, including the NYT.
“In my experience teaching the course, the students tend to rely
on google even after the library visit, but I can’t understand why.
I will be changing the requirements for the speeches so that they
must include not only one citations from the New York Times but
also citations from one journal article and one book.”
Define in a few sentences your research topic. Locate each of the following:
a journal article
a newspaper article
a standard (individual or a collection)
a web site
• a patent (give this a try using www.uspto.gov)
Do not pick the first resource that comes up in a search.
Select what you judge to be the best resource you can find for each of these
In addition to locating and citing the resources, you should write a short (2-3
sentence) description detailing why this pertinent to your project.
For some topics, you may not find an example for each. If you don’t find an
appropriate example, note where you searched and what terms you used.
Locating a refereed paper on the geology of a national park:
• A refereed or scholarly paper may be described as a paper that
is written by an expert for other experts
• Some databases index only scholarly journals; others index a
mixture of newspapers as well as scholarly and popular
journals. The following databases should help you locate an
Proquest, GeoRef, Web of Science
What we’re doing at PSU
• Library evangelists
• Convenience trumps quality discussions
(Google & Wikipedia)
• Collaborating with instructors
• Alleviating library anxiety
• Hold office hours (virtual and F2F), multiple
ways to contact us
• Collaborate with K-12 librarians about bridging
What you can do
• Emphasize evaluating information:
scholarly v. popular, freely available v.
• Consider the standards in creating your library
• Explore strategies for addressing multiple
• Visit a local academic library with students
Information Literacy Librarian
Penn State University Park