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Information Literacy

The information literacy program at Kwantlen Libraries is offered through a blend of services that include research skills classes and course/subject specific instruction sessions (not for credit), and research help at the Reference desk.

Information Literacy and the new IL Framework

"Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning." (ACRL, 2015).

The new Framework for Information Literacy has been filed by the ACRL Board on February 2, 2015. It focuses on six threshold concepts (frames) to serve as "passageways or portals to enlarged understanding or ways of thinking and practicing within that discipline." Each frame consists of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions.

  1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
    • Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.
  2. Information Creation as a Process
    • Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.
  3. Information Has Value
    • Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.
  4. Research as Inquiry
    • Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.
  5. Scholarship as Conversation
    • Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.
  6. Searching as Strategic Exploration
    • Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

"This [2015] Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Framework) grows out of a belief that information literacy as an educational reform movement will realize its potential only through a richer, more complex set of core ideas. ... However, the rapidly changing higher education environment, along with the dynamic and often uncertain information ecosystem in which all of us work and live, require new attention to be focused on foundational ideas about that ecosystem. Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically. Teaching faculty have a greater responsibility in designing curricula and assignments that foster enhanced engagement with the core ideas about information and scholarship within their disciplines. Librarians have a greater responsibility in identifying core ideas within their own knowledge domain that can extend learning for students, in creating a new cohesive curriculum for information literacy, and in collaborating more extensively with faculty." (ACRL 2015

Standards (adopted by the Kwantlen Library): ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Threshold Concepts and Information LIteracy Articles

Context of IL at Kwantlen

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Library offers comprehensive research skills sessions for courses at all levels which are based on the standards, performance indicators, and outcomes published in the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (recently adopted by the Library). The role of the Information Literacy Program in the context of a teaching library is to encourage and facilitate life-long learning. In order to empower students in the pursuit of knowledge, the library faculty aims to teach them the skills of identifying, locating, and evaluating information.

Librarians actively seek opportunities to collaborate with Instructors to integrate and embed information literacy components into the curriculum and are knowledgeable and experienced in providing appropriate assessment and activities that promote information literacy skills development. For further information or assistance with information literacy contact our Instruction Librarian Mirela Djokic at

The information literacy program at Kwantlen Libraries is offered through a blend of services that include research skills classes and course/subject specific instruction sessions (not for credit), and research help at the Reference desk. Instruction is delivered in a library lab environment and  in an e-classroom at the instructor’s request.

 The Information Literacy program aims to accomplish the following goals:

  1. To provide information literacy instruction to all students by teaching research sessions skills classes and offer one-on-one research sessions
  2. To provide course-integrated instruction in collaboration with the faculty and in alignment with course objectives
  3.  To offer workshops such as PDSS sessions to the Kwantlen community

How can a librarian help my students improve their research skills?

The information literacy skills we teach in our research sessions will help faculty fulfill two of the Essential Skills requirements for their courses : Reading & Information Literacy Skills and Technology Skills, contributing to the Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills as well. This is a practical advantage for instructors to have their classes participate in a research session. In this way the Library supports and participates in the learning and teaching goals of the institution. Please refer to The Essential Skills spelled out in section L. 9 of Kwantlen’s administrative policies

  • Learn how to do research - Librarians know how to organize and use information resources, but more importantly, we are professionals at educating users about effective research strategies.
  • Become lifelong learners - The skills and knowledge students need to conduct research are vital not only to the pursuit of academic questions, but also to actively contributing to their culture and society. And as such, librarians are a vital part of ensuring Kwantlen students can become global citizens, as well as succeed in your courses.
  •  Use scholarly information - In our information-saturated culture, students are often overwhelmed when beginning a university-level research project. Class time with a teaching librarian and the course instructor can be a dynamic learning opportunity for students to begin their research. In such a setting, course instructors can know that students have started on their projects using good strategies and quality resources. Librarians also produce web-based, course-specific subject guides to complement in-class instruction and facilitate student research.
  • Avoid plagiarism - Research has shown that many instances of student plagiarism stem from students not understanding what plagiarism is, why it is unacceptable in the academic environment, and how to avoid it. Collaborating with a librarian to educate your students about this issue ensures that students are armed with the necessary information to cite correctly.

What expertise does a librarian have?

Librarians at Kwantlen Polytechnic University have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. This degree ensures that librarians are experts in the organization and retrieval of information. We are experts in educating users to identify, find, and use reliable information resources for your subject area.

Each instruction librarian collects materials in specific subject areas and therefore brings unique knowledge to their instruction, development of library collections, and assistance to students, faculty, and staff.

Book a Library Research Skills Class for your students (for Kwantlen Polytechnic University Faculty only) at the Library Instruction request page.

Information Literacy Framework (2000)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Information Literacy Framework
based on
ACRL Information Literacy Standards and Australian and New Lealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice.
Second ed. Editor: Alan Bundy. Adelaide, Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy, 2004.





Standard One


The information literate person recognises the need for information and determines the nature and extent of the information needed.


Defines and articulates the information need


Understands the purpose, scope and appropriateness of a variety of information sources


Re-evaluates the nature and extent of the information need


Uses diverse sources of information to inform decisions

Standard Two


The information literate person finds needed information effectively and efficiently


Selects the most appropriate methods or tools for finding information


Constructs and implements effective search strategies


Obtains information using appropriate methods


Keeps up to date with information sources, information technologies, information access tools and investigative methods

Standard Three


The information literate person critically evaluates information and the information seeking process.


Assesses the usefulness and relevance of the information obtained


Defines and applies criteria for evaluating information


Reflects on the information seeking process and revises search strategies as necessary

Standard Four


The information literate person manages information collected or generated.


Records information and its sources


Organises (orders/classifies/stores) information

Standard Five

USE to Create Ideas

The information literate person applies prior and new information to construct new concepts or create new understandings.


Compares and integrates new understandings with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other unique characteristics of the information


Communicates knowledge and new understandings effectively

Standard Six

USE with Socio-cultural Awareness

The information literate person uses information with understanding and acknowledges cultural, ethical, economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information.


Acknowledges cultural, ethical, legal and socioeconomic issues related to access to, and use of, information


Recognises that information is underpinned by values and beliefs


Conforms with conventions and etiquette related to access to, and use of, information


Legally obtains, stores, and disseminates text, data, images, or sounds