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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Information Literacy Framework

A tool for developing IL learning opportunities

Scope, Description and Purpose of the Framework


Scope, Description, and Purpose of the IL Framework

Information Literacy defined

Information literacy skills include the ability to find, evaluate, store and manage information; to reuse it to create new knowledge or solve problems; and to understand that information exists within social, ethical, cultural and legal contexts.

Information literacy empowers citizens to participate in democratic processes, enables the progress of research and gives our students skills that help them succeed at university.

Information Literacy in Context

Information literacy is a skill for lifelong learning. Information Literacy is identified as a requisite skill linked to professional competencies that  provide EWU undergraduates and graduates skills which can be applied into all facets of life.  "...literacy is the most basic currency of the knowledge economy..." (Obama, 2005, June 25) Literacy and Education in a 21st-Century Economy [Speech transcript].

The acquisition of these skills that facilitate translating information synthesis into a knowledge base is relevant to all disciplines.  These skills sets should develop and expand throughout each student’s academic career  Employers seek graduates who have the skills to locate, organize, evaluate and critically analyze information from multiple sources, and synthesize information that leads to meaningful contributions.

Higher-degree and postgraduate research students need a set of foundation information literacy skills which can be developed and applied to provide quality research outcomes. Information literacy is closely aligned with the skills required for effective and efficient research, including strategic searching, critical thinking and the use and management of evidence and raw data, and understanding the distinctions between causation and correlation.


Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, American Library Association, February 9, 2015.  Document ID: b910a6c4-6c8a-0d44-7dbc-a5dcbd509e3f

Information Literacy Framework, University of the Sunshine Coast..

The Information Literacy framework

This framework identifies opportunities for Academic faculty/staff and the Library to work together in developing information literacy learning opportunities for their students.

The framework:

  • Supports EWU’s strategic priorities.
  • Contributes to EWU Graduate Outcomes.
  • Provides all teaching staff with a direction for developing information literacy skills in their students.
  • Identifies skills which are desirable assets for students’ future employment and global citizenry.

Strategic underpinnings

This framework is based on Information Literacy framework developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). It contextually defines information itself and the skills required for the use of that information.

The six concepts for considering information are:

  • Authority is constructed and contextual.
  • Information creation as a process.
  • Information has value.
  • Research as inquiry.
  • Scholarship as conversation.
  • Searching as strategic exploration.

The skills, behaviors and understandings that contribute to information literacy are:

  • The ability to understand that information is diverse.
  • The ability to search for information effectively.
  • The ability to evaluate what is found.
  • The ability to manage what is found.
  • The ability to reuse that information.
  • Recognizing that information exists in a social context and is affected by legal, ethical, economic and social factors.

Goals and outcomes

By offering avenues for collaborative development of information literacy skills, the Library aims to:

  • Ensure that all EWU students have the opportunity to develop information literacy competencies.
  • Ensure that teaching staff have access to the skills and support to embed information literacy skills in their courses.
  • Position the library team as a focus of expertise in information literacy.

The Library will take a leadership role to:

  • Facilitate collaborative teaching and learning practice where library instructors and program instructors work together to ensure the best possible information competency outcomes for students.
  • Provide opportunities for EWU students to independently build a repetoire of information literacy skills.
  • Develop a framework of action so information literacy skills can develop progressively through the span of learning from pre-course through to postgraduate.
  • Promote information literacy as a skill which is intentionally taught and systematically extended.
  • Support EWU instructors seeking to embed information literacy skills development into their teaching and experiential learning activities.
  • Create resources for academic instructors and teaching staff to develop their understanding of information literacy.

Alignment with EWU Priorities

This framework aligns with and supports:

  • The EWU Curriculum and the M.Ed in Literacy

This framework supports the EWU Strategic Mission and core themes of student access, learning, development, and completion leading to student success.  

This Information Literacy Framework is underpinned by EWU’s commitment to excellence in teaching and to providing a high quality student experience by:

  • Supporting instructors to enable EWU students to become skilled and confident information users.
  • Enabling students to increase their information literacy individually through the provision of online and face-to-face support for students working with information, to enable the best possible learning outcome for the individual.

The Library will:

  • Promote information literacy as a lifelong learning skill valued by employers.
  • Work with instructors to map the development of information literacy skills within programs.
  • Encourage the development of quality assessment items which develop information literacy in students.
  • Assist instructors to develop students’ information literacy behaviors which are specific to their discipline.