Document Type


Publication Date

September 2007


information literacy


Information Literacy


Information literacy is the ability of individuals "to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (American Library Association, 1989, para. 3). At San Jose State University (SJSU), information literacy has been traditionally taught through one-shot, 50-minute lectures delivered by university librarians to students enrolled in a select few undergraduate courses. This method of instruction has proven to be neither sustainable nor effective. The lectures are not tailored by discipline and students might receive the same lecture several times while completing their lower-division coursework. SJSU wants to replace this format with an embedded information literacy program, one in which the teaching of information literacy skills is integrated into courses throughout the curriculum. As students progress from lower- to upper-division courses, their information literacy proficiency would become increasingly sophisticated. What is driving this increased emphasis on information literacy are regional accreditation requirements; the need to keep pace with the changes brought to teaching and learning by new technology; and society’s need for graduates who have lifelong learning skills.