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ENG W509: Introduction to Writing and Literacy Studies

This guide was created in connection with a library instruction session in fall 2015. Please contact the librarian if you have questions.


Welcome to the English W509 course guide. This guide was created to help you navigate the library's resources and to provide information about information literacy. It will also provide you with resources to support your growing knowledge of Writing and Literacy Studies.

Please contact me, Bronwen, with questions or to request a consultation. I am YOUR librarian and I'm here to help throughout your graduate school experience. My contact information is in the box on the left.

Information Literacy

Information literacy [IL] is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" [American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.)].

The Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL) developed a list of IL Competency Standards that librarians have used for over 10 years to measure the impact of their instruction as well as provide indication of how information literate a user-of-information is. Over time librarians saw the need to move away from this rigid list of characteristics to a more flexible definition of information literacy. ACRL officially filed the Framework for IL in early 2015 among the organization's list of other guiding documents about IL. Though the Standards have not been retired, the move from the Standards to the Framework shows a shift from a checklist approach to a more holistic approach.