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Information literacy involves using information critically in various contexts and for specific purposes. It includes but also extends beyond using library resources. While information literacy involves a complex range of interrelated abilities and dispositions, it may be broken into the following dimensions:

  • Inquiry: Exploring and developing research questions; Identifying and evaluating information needs

Dimensions of Information Literacy

  • Identify potential research topics and questions.
  • Identify starting points for pursuing a research topic.
  • Develop effective research strategies for locating information relevant to a research question.
  • Explore and refine research topics and questions in light of retrieved information.

  • Evaluate the rhetorical functions and uses of potential sources (e.g. author, audience, purpose, point of view, bias)
  • Determine the potential relevance of sources for the given information need. 
  • Revise search strategies when needed.
  • Recognize common characteristics of a variety of information sources types (e.g. primary sources, scholarly journals, blogs, wikis).

  • Identify connections and disconnections among multiple sources.
  • Synthesize and analyze information from various sources in order to create new meanings and knowledge.
  • Organize and present information clearly in order to achieve a defined purpose.
  • Develop and articulate informed arguments, some of which may call to question other viewpoints.

  • Recognize research and knowledge creation as dialogic processes that involve listening to, acknowledging, and responding to others’ related ideas.
  • Communicate one’s own ideas through dialogic exchange and various modes of information sharing.
  • Recognize shared information practices of relevant discourse communities.
  • Provide clear documentation of information sources.