Of course we have standards! They’re called “Information Literacy Progression Standards.” And they are used in colleges throughout New Jersey and, similarly, in many colleges throughout the country. In fact, our College of St. Elizabeth librarians attended a standards workshop hosted by CSE in June, right here at the Annunciation Center. Dr. James Dlugos, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, welcomed over 100 librarians and faculty members from academic institutions throughout New Jersey!
So, what are “information literacy progression standards?” The “Standards” are guidelines that identify in great detail information literacy skills and competencies which must be mastered at various collegiate levels by all students. The skills are – in my opinion – ones that all our students would want to develop, because they would be a good foundation for their lifelong learning – in addition to their immediate college courses.
Dr. Lisa Mastrangelo, member of the CSE English faculty, spoke about “Information Literacy from the Faculty Perspective.” For faculty and for us, as librarians, the “Standards” were developed to help integrate information literacy into course work and research. Through the “Standards,” we can have a common understanding of what students are expected to learn.
Just how many such “Standards” are there? Forty-nine!!! Fear not, though. Not all forty-nine are used at one time. But, there are times when multiple combinations are used. I mentioned the word “combination” — One attendee, at the breakout session I attended, likened the numbering system of the standards to a lock “combination.” For example, one “Gateway” standard – “Identifies alternative search tools” – is Gateway Standard Number 2.4.b.
Okay, but why are the information literacy standards we have in New Jersey called “progression” standards? Simply – the “Standards” were designed to support the information literacy skills development of transferring students from one college (or college level) to another.
Anyone (whether faculty or student) curious about the Information Literacy Progression Standards can click here to find that document. For more information, you might want to speak with Mina Ghajar. Mina is Mahoney Library’s Head of User Services and she is a member of the Shared Information Literacy Committee of New Jersey’s Virtual Academic Library Environment (VALE).
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