Milne Open Textbooks

The Information Literacy User’s Guide: An Open, Online Textbook

Author(s): , , , , , , and

Publication Date: April 4, 2014

ISBN: 9780989722629

OCLC: 954036117

Affiliation: SUNY Albany

Good researchers have a host of tools at their disposal that make navigating today’s complex information ecosystem much more manageable. Gaining the knowledge, abilities, and self-reflection necessary to be a good researcher helps not only in academic settings, but is invaluable in any career, and throughout one’s life. The Information Literacy User’s Guide will start you on this route to success.

The Information Literacy User’s Guide is based on two current models in information literacy: The 2011 version of The Seven Pillars Model, developed by the Society of College, National and University Libraries in the United Kingdom and the conception of information literacy as a metaliteracy, a model developed by one of this book’s authors in conjunction with Thomas Mackey, Dean of the Center for Distance Learning at SUNY Empire State College. These core foundations ensure that the material will be relevant to today’s students.

The Information Literacy User’s Guide introduces students to critical concepts of information literacy as defined for the information-infused and technology-rich environment in which they find themselves. This book helps students examine their roles as information creators and sharers and enables them to more effectively deploy related skills. This textbook includes relatable case studies and scenarios, many hands-on exercises, and interactive quizzes.
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Identify: Understanding Your Information Need

  • Exercise: Identifying What You Don’t Know
  • Exercise: Taking Stock of What You Already Know
  • Exercise: Research Question/Thesis Statement/Search Terms

Scope: Knowing What is Available

  • Exercise: Searching in Databases

Plan: Developing Research Strategies

  • Exercise: Google Searches
  • Exercise: Reviewing Search Strategies

Gather: Finding What You Need

  • Exercise: Comparing Search Strategies
  • Exercise: Primary Sources
  • Exercise: Identifying Citations

Evaluate: Assessing Your Research Process and Findings

  • Exercise: Assess Currency
  • Exercise: Find Relevant Sources
  • Exercise: Identify Authoritative Sources
  • Exercise: Find Accurate Sources
  • Exercise: Identify the Information Purpose

Manage: Organizing Information Effectively and Ethically

  • Exercise: Plagiarism Quiz

Present: Sharing What You’ve Learned

  • Exercise: Present Your Information in Different Formats
  • Exercise: Plan for Your Audience

Visual Literacy: Applying Information Literacy to Visual Materials

  • Exercise: Observing the Visual Landscape
  • Exercise: Accuracy and Bias
  • Exercise: Putting it All Together

Science Literacy: Information Literacy in the Sciences

  • Exercise: Iodine Case Study
  • Exercise: Tracing a Primary Research Article From Secondary Publications
  • Exercise: Science Zine


Appendix: Developing Metaliterate Learners

Allison Hosier

Allison Hosier is an Information Literacy Librarian at the University at Albany, SUNY. She has published and presented on research related to practical applications of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy as part of information literacy instruction. Her recent research is focused on introducing and exploring the metaconcept that research is both an activity and a subject of study.

Daryl Bullis

Daryl Bullis is the Lead Instruction Librarian at Babson College. He recieved his BA in Classics and Russian from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Russian and an MLS from the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has taught credit courses in Information Literacy and is currently researching best practices for adapting TBL methods to bibliographic instruction sessions.

Deborah Bernnard

Deborah Bernnard is Director of Public Services at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is also a veteran information literacy instructor. She was a member of the committee that created UNL 205, Information Literacy, a one-credit undergraduate course, taught by University at Albany librarians since 2000. She also teaches a graduate course; Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Technique. She has authored several book chapters and articles on information literacy topics.

Greg Bobish

Greg Bobish is an Associate Librarian at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has taught credit-bearing information literacy courses since 2000 and enjoys experimenting with new educational technologies and new pedagogical approaches as he tries to convey the relevance of information literacy to his students’ lives. He has received the Chancellor’s and the President’s awards for Excellence in Librarianship.

Irina Holden

Irina Holden teaches Information Literacy in the Sciences and works as an Information Literacy and Science Outreach Librarian in the Science Library at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research interests include science literacy, reference and instruction in both traditional and virtual environments, sustainability and first year experience courses. Ms. Holden is a native of Ukraine.

Jenna Pitera (Hecker)

Jenna Pitera (Hecker) is the Science Librarian at Skidmore College, where she teaches one-credit information literacy courses. She received her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island. She previously worked as an instructional designer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany. She has a passion for active learning and creating engaging, meaningful student interactions. She is a proud trustee of the Albany Public Library.

Tor Loney

Tor Loney is a Youth Services Librarian at Albany Public Library, concentrating on teen engagement with a focus on creative arts and emerging technologies. He previously worked as an Information Literacy Librarian and Instructor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he earned his MLIS.

Trudi Jacobson

Trudi Jacobson is the Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She and Thomas Mackey developed the concept of metaliteracy, which has infused her teaching and her research. She loves the challenge and excitement of effective new teaching methods, and is currently involved in the development of a metaliteracy badging system. She was the recipient of the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian of the Year award in 2009. She is honored to have taught or mentored all but one of the co-authors of this book when they were graduate students.