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Instructional Support

Information and resources for Lewis-Clark State College faculty


Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (ACRL)

 The American Library Association Institutional Repository (ALAIR) has developed a list of competency standards that students should achieve on the road to becoming information literate.

In developing Library instruction for students, an Lewis-Clark State College Librarian has sorted the ACRL skills into 4 levels of increasing complexity and difficulty. Instruction sessions for freshmen will focus mostly on acquisition of Level A skills, while instruction sessions for upper-class students can move on to higher level skills.


Information Literacy Competencies by skill level

Level A: Introduction to basic Library research skills and concepts of plagiarism and intellectual property.
Level B: Training on resources for research in specific disciplines.
Level C: Intermediate-level training on using the library resources for research.
Level D: General concepts about intellectual freedom and social / political / economic issues affecting information and research.

*The full list of Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education can be found at the Association of College & Research Libraries website:


Level A Skill Set

Level A:

Skill Set A1: Demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and not to represent work attributable to others as one's own. Demonstrate an awareness of the concepts of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material.
Skill Set A2: Know how information is formally and informally produced, organized, and disseminated. Identify the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, audio/visual, book, journal). Differentiate between primary and secondary sources. Understand that information is also available from other unpublished sources, including experts, agencies, and information networks.
Skill Set A3: Understand the organization of materials in the Lewis-Clark State College Library. Understand how to use the Library of Congress classification system.
Skill Set A4: Preserve the integrity of information resources, equipment, systems and facilities. Understand the policies governing the use of each.
Skill Set A5: Know the basic organization, features and capabilities of the Library Catalog. Use location information in the bibliographic record to retrieve locally owned resources.
Skill Set A6: Know the basic organization, features and capabilities of general journal indexes. Use location information in the bibliographic record to retrieve locally owned resources.
Skill Set A7: Know when to search the web, some tools to use, and how to evaluate the results.
Skill Set A8:

Identify the nature of a given information need. Formulate a general research question. Understand that topic focus is evolutionary and changes during the course of investigation. Explore general information resources to increase familiarity with the topic. Refine the focus of the information need.

Understand that information seeking takes time, flexibility, diligence, and practice, and that skills are learned over time. Define a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed information.

Skill Set A9: For Outreach Students -- Discover the Library services and resources available to distance students and how to access them.

Level B Skill Set

Level B:

Skill Set B1: Discipline-focused research resources and strategies in Business, Education, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Nursing, Psychology, and Social Sciences.

Level C Skill Set

Level C:

Skill Set C1: Understand the access points to information sources (e.g., author, title, call number, subject, keyword). Recognize the components of a citation and differentiate between types of sources cited, such as book, periodical, or government document, as well as the format (e.g., electronic or print).
Skill Set C2: Select an appropriate documentation style and use it consistently to cite sources.
Skill Set C3: Examine and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
Skill Set C4: Use online search techniques and tools (such as Boolean operators and symbols, limiting capabilities, and truncation) to locate relevant citations and information to further refine, expand or narrow a search, as needed. Evaluate search results, and revise search strategy as needed. Advanced searches on catalog and advanced searches in journal databases.
Skill Set C5: Determine the availability of needed information and make decisions on broadening information seeking process beyond local resources (e.g., interlibrary loan or using resources at other locations). Use locally owned resources to locate information sources in the global environment.
Skill Set C6: Understand the nature and use of controlled vocabulary for accessing information.

Level D Skill Set

Level D:

Skill Set D1: Identify and discuss issues related to censorship and freedom of speech.
Skill Set D2:

Understand the social / political / economic issues affecting information, such as:

  • Privacy
  • Privatization and access to government information
  • Electronic access to information
  • The exponential growth of information
  • Equal access to information
  • Costs associated with the production, acquisition, storage and delivery of information.