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Information Literacy: Information Literacy at Cobleskill

What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy is the set of behaviors necessary to find, access, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically.

Or, as the Association of College and Research Libraries puts it: "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, 2016).

For more information about information literacy, check out this article, The Information Literacy Imperative in Higher Education (Wiebe, 2016). 

SUNY Cobleskill Information Literacy Program Learning Outcomes

Working in collaboration with academic faculty and staff across campus, the Library’s Instruction Program will strengthen students’ ability to: 

  1. locate and access information needed to accomplish specific intellectual or practical tasks; 

  1. make critical, well-informed decisions about what sources will best satisfy specific information needs, considering authority, accuracy, and bias; 

  1. incorporate information sources into academic work according to the professional standards of their discipline or field; and 

  1. understand the legal, ethical, professional, and academic dimensions of accessing, using, and creating information sources. 

Standards & Competencies

Information Literacy Competency

Students will

  • locate information effectively using tools appropriate to their need and discipline;
  • evaluate information with an awareness of authority, validity, and bias; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of information use, creation, and dissemination.


Students need to acquire information literacy appropriate to the demands of the 21st century citizen, and campuses must have flexibility to implement and assess these learning outcomes across a diverse range of academic programs. 

The Information Literacy core competency is not necessarily associated with any one course, though the student learning outcomes may be required in one or more specific courses. In either case, campuses must ensure that the required learning outcomes are included in each undergraduate degree curriculum.

SUNY General Education Requirements

Literacy ILO 

Demonstrate broad knowledge of a variety of information (e.g., technological, print, digital, media, data) and the ability to access, research, evaluate, organize, and safely/ethically use such information. 

Suny Cobleskill ILOs

The information literate student:

  1. Determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

  2. Accesses the needed information effectively and efficiently.

  3. Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base.

  4. Uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

  5. Understands the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Information Literacy Defined, ACRL

This definition and the learning outcomes are adapted from the published information literacy standards of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), the International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions (IFLA), and the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).