The information literacy program empowers students to seek, create and share new ideas in a complex information landscape by teaching skills that extend from the classroom to student's personal and professional lives.

Librarians and faculty at UD partner to teach students information literacy skills they need to succeed in assignments and their future careers as professionals and lifelong learners. Once a network of informal partnerships, information literacy at UD has evolved into an intentional, programmatic model, including an explicit learning objective of the Core Curriculum as well as being incorporated throughout most majors.

What's information literacy?

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. At UD, we have developed the following student learning outcomes based on this and the Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

The information literate student will
- Apply the research process to solve a problem, take a stand on an issue, or engage with a scholarly conversation.
- Formulate manageable research questions to explore a topic and narrow the focus of a project.
- Evaluate multiple search strategies and tools to determine an appropriate tactic.
- Use authoritative sources appropriate to the audience, context, and content of the assignment.
- Reflect, revisit and revise processes to demonstrate flexibility and persistence in research.

For more about information literacy, see the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education available from

What can librarians do for me and my students?

Librarians can teach in-class sessions based on your specific assignments so students learn how to effectively use both free- and fee-based (library subscription) materials and tools to find high-quality information for particular assignments. Librarians can help you plan effective research assignments for your students and are available for one-on-one and small group research support. Librarians also partner with faculty to ensure the library collection meets student and faculty needs.

How do I request an information literacy session?

Discuss your assignments and your students' needs with the librarian liaison for your department, listed on our library liaison page.

Don't students learn this in another class?

Basic information literacy skills and strategies are introduced in RES104 Introduction to Research Writing, but like any other skill, IL skills need reinforcement and practice to stick. Librarians work to scaffold instruction to build on the skills introduced in RES104. Information literacy concepts differ by discipline and because library instruction is always based specifically on your assignment requirements, most faculty find that student work improves as a result of the partnership with librarians.

Can we schedule a session for a day I have to be gone from class?

Instructors should be active participants in each information literacy session. This supports the importance of the concepts and allows you to answer specific questions regarding assignment expectations.

Don't students already know this?

UD library assessments, conducted with a pre- and post-test model for 8 years, consistently showed incoming students need a better understanding of the complex information environment they are required to navigate in order to complete college-level research assignments. Many students have little to no experience using research databases or finding a book on library shelves. While they may understand basic concepts such as a definition of plagiarism, higher-level skills such as identifying source bias require explicit instruction and applied practice in order to be effectively developed.

Selected Bibliography of UD Librarians' Scholarship

  • Canovan, Becky, & Wolff, Katelyn. "Chaos, Madness and 1st-years Run Amuck: The Library Scavenger Hunt and Why We'd Do It Again in a Heartbeat." Presentation at the 2nd Annual Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium, New Albany, IN, Aug. 9, 2013
  • Canovan, Becky, Kitchens, Kate, & Slaughter, Sarah (2017). "I'm Not an Expert But...: Adaptive Strategies for Teaching Evaluation Outside Your Students' Comfort Zone." Presentation at the Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium (IULILC), Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN, August 2017.
  • Canovan, Becky, & Cal Coquillette. "Opening the Door: How Library Instruction Can Improve Student Work." Presentation at the ILA-ACRL Spring Conference, Cedar Rapids, IA, April 23, 2010.
  • Canovan, Becky, & Cara Stone, "The Information Literacy Constellation: How Do Your Stars Align?" Presentation to the Annual Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium, Kokomo, IN, August 7, 2015.
  • Canovan, Becky, & Cara Stone. "Bringing Reality TV to Library Instruction: Nontraditional Activities for Teaching Traditional Library Concepts." Indiana University's Information Literacy Colloquium. New Albany, IN. Aug.4, 2012.
  • Canovan, Becky, & Katelyn Wolff. ""What I Wish I'd Known": Upperclassmen Coaching First-year Health, Wellness and Sport Majors Toward the Research Finish Line." Presentation at the 3rd Annual Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium, South Bend, IN, Aug. 1. 2014.
  • Canovan, Becky, Anne Marie Gruber, Mary Anne Knefel, & Michele McKinlay. "Many Voices, One Goal: Measuring Student Success through Partnerships in the Core Curriculum." In Collaborative Information Literacy Assessments: Strategies for Evaluating Teaching and Learning, edited by T. P. Mackey & T. E. Jacobson, 175-211. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2009. (Awarded Iowa-ACRL Research Award, 2010)
  • Canovan, Becky, Kate Kitchens & Sarah Slaughter. "I'm not an expert, but...: Adaptive strategies for teaching evaluation outside your students' comfort zone." Presentation to the Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium, New Albany, Indiana on August 3, 2017.
  • Canovan, Becky, Stone, Cara, & Arensdorf, J. "Information Literacy: Beg, Borrow, & Steal." Workshop at the Iowa Private Academic Libraries Annual Meeting, Des Moines, April 4-5, 2013.
  • Canovan, Becky. "Homegrown Ingredients: Creating Tools When the Information Literacy Supermarket Fails You." Presentation at the LOEX National Conference, Columbus, OH, May 3-5, 2012.
  • Doll, Christopher. IRDL (Institute for Research Design in Librarianship) Scholar, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA, June 2-10, 2018. One of 20 scholars per year.
  • Doll, Christopher & Joseph Letriz. "Giving a Voice to Audio Collections." LibTech Conference 2017 at Macalester College, on March 17, 2017.
  • Helmke, Jon, Brian Hallstoos, & Becky Canovan. "Mining the Archives, Exhibiting the Past: Helping Students Engage and Display Primary Sources." Presentation at the 2nd Annual Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium, New Albany, IN, Aug. 9, 2013.
  • Slaughter, Sarah & Becky Canovan, "Approaches to information evaluation, fake news and more: A discussion." Workshop conducted at the Fall Faculty Days, University of Dubuque on August 17, 2017.
  • Smith, Sara, & Becky Canovan. "RA Sneak Attacks: Using Your Readers' Advisory Skills in Unexpected Ways" Presentation at the Iowa Library Association 124th Annual Conference, Cedar Rapids, Oct. 22-24, 2014.
  • Stone, Cara, & Becky Canovan. "Building Your Instruction Toolkit." Presentation at ILA-ACRL Spring Conference, Des Moines, Mar. 20, 2015.