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Information Literacy @ CityU

This guide explores the concept of information literacy and describes and documents the Library's instruction programme.

What is information literacy?

Information literacy (IL) is the set of integrated abilities encompassing: [1]

  • 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.

Information literate individuals possess the ability to think critically and creatively, and can use their talents to explore new ideas and create knowledge, in addition to contributing to society. Information literacy is also an integral component of lifelong learning, as it equips individuals to become self-directed learners.

Information literate individuals are able to: [2]

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base
  • Use information ethically to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically

[1] Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Information literacy framework for higher education. Retrieved from

[2] Association of College & Research Libraries (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Retrieved from

Information literacy and the Library

While information literacy skills are fostered in different ways throughout the University, the Library has a unique role in promoting information literacy. Librarians assist the University community with developing information literacy skills in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • making available a quality collection of information resources,
  • collaborating with teaching staff to integrate information literacy skills into courses,
  • providing research assistance,
  • offering an instruction programme,
  • developing and hosting events that encourage lifelong learning,
  • participating in University activities that cultivate information literacy skills, and
  • providing an environment that fosters critical thinking and encourages open inquiry.

Part of the way in which the Library provides information literacy education is through its instruction programme. The purpose of the Library's instruction programme is to assist the members of the University community with developing the skills necessary to identify, locate, evaluate, and use ethically those information resources appropriate for their research and scholarship. Library instruction takes a variety of forms, including: research assistance, face-to-face, by phone, and online. For more, please refer to What do we offer.