Who Teaches Information Literacy

Studies show that average students need 15-16 repetitions of something before they learn it; bright students 8-9 repetitions, and gifted students 1-3. Thus, there is a strong need for information literacy to be integrated throughout the curriculum, in general education, in majors, and in graduate degrees.

When information literacy education is placed in the context of the discipline, it deepens students’ understanding of the importance of information literacy within their chosen fields. When information literacy is integrated in upper level and graduate courses, the students will be more mature and be able to bring a wider range of experiences to the process of framing the research question, identifying more obscure sources to explore, devising complex search strategies, engaging in deeper analysis of the content, and presenting new insights or even new knowledge to their chosen audiences.

Librarians alone can not provide an effective information literacy program for the entire student body on campus. When departmental faculty and librarians share the responsibility for the information literacy program, it can be implemented with a more coherent and systematic approach throughout the campus. The information literacy curriculum can:

  • Be more problem, inquiry or resource based when integrated.
  • Be applied with more effective use of instructional pedagogies and technologies
  • Be integrated and articulated better within the disciplines' learning outcomes

Information literacy therefore depends on collaboration among classroom faculty, academic administrators, librarians and other information professionals. In order to effectively implement a program all parties must be involved.

"Information literacy programs require the leadership and support of academic administrators. Such leadership is not limited to budgetary support. It also includes helping create a supportive atmosphere and practical opportunities for cooperation among librarians, classroom faculty and information technologists. Such leadership should promote a vision of liberal education as an empowering and transforming endeavor that develops students with the necessary skills to be independent learners." ACRL Information literacy for faculty and administrators.