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Information Literacy: Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the ability to recognize the need for information, locate it, evaluate it and then use it effectively and appropriately within ethical and legal limits. 

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*

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning and critical analysis. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. One of the goals of the J.F. Drake Learning Resources Center is to ensure that its information literacy program and activities support the overall mission of the university and the Drake LRC mission as stated below.

Drake LRC has as its primary mission supports the teaching and research needs of the institution by collecting and preserving materials at levels appropriate to the scope and vision of degreed programs at the university.

*Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, ALA, 2000


Rationale and Objectives

Learning to use the J.F. Drake Memorial Learning Resources Center effectively is an important part of the educational process at Alabama A & M University. Developing information literacy skills at the collegiate and research level begins in an academic library environment.

In today's academic culture, accepted teaching methods place greater responsibility for learning on the student. Therefore, it is imperative that our students begin to develop information literacy and research skills.

The LRC provides access to a wealth of information, research development courses, and hands on experience using information literacy skills. Developing the skills required to effectively access information is a key component of creating information literate students. These skills transcend using the library and help students become independent and life long learners. 

J.F. Drake Memorial LRC Information Literacy Program Goals

Our primary goal is to impact every AAMU student and faculty by providing Information Literacy services designed to develop specific skills and learning goals. Consequently, the LRC staff seeks to accomplish the following:

  1. Encourage students to become critical thinkers
  2. Motivate students to become lifelong learners
  3. Teach students to determine the value of what they find in their research

 The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education is the vehicle in which we will introduce our students to three of the five standards below.  

  1. The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
  2. The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
  3. The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
  4. The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  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.

The Information and Reference Services staff seek to support the Alabama A & M University mission of instruction, research, and service via our Information Literacy Program by providing instruction to show what information resources are available in the LRC. Our goal is to reach every student on the A & M campus. 

Currently, the J.F. Drake Memorial Learning Resources Center provides access to approximately 120 library databases, numerous open access resources, and worldwide consortia arrangements. We strive to ensure that our students know how to identify needed information, locate information, and evaluate information from the resources available to them as scholars.

Appeal For Faculty Collaboration

The J.F. Drake Memorial Learning Resources Center extends an invitation to Faculty, Staff, and Students to collaborate on class assignments, workshops, forums, and other venues to promote Information Literacy in the classroom and on the campus of Alabama A&M University. Currently, we collaborate through Information Literacy sessions tailored to your discipline and assignment assistance. We encourage other collaboration methods as needed. We need your support to make this effort work. Thank you in advance for your participation.