Information Competency

​​​​​​What is Information Competency?

Information literacy, or competency, 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.”  “Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.”(1)
In January of 2000, the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education were approved were approved  by the Board of Directors of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and in February of 2004, the American Association for Higher Education and the Council of Independent Colleges endorsed them.(2) 

The Standards dictate that an information literate person: 
  • Determines the nature and extent of information needed
  • Accesses the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system
  • Uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.  
Information literacy can no longer be defined without considering technology literacy in order for individuals to function in an information-rich, technology-infused world . The National Higher Education Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Initiative has developed a definition of literacy for the 21st Century which combines cognitive and technical skills with an ethical/legal understanding of information.
ICT proficiency is the ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and/or networks to define an information need, access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, create new information or knowledge and be able to communicate this information to others.(3)
 You will neither become information literate nor communication technology literate overnight. Just as with speaking skills and writing skills, your abilities will improve over time as you gain expertise in the topics you choose to investigate. This process will give you practice in searching for, selecting and evaluating the information you encounter and will allow you to create new ideas, which you communicate to others using a variety of technological tools.​ 


(1) The Association of College and Research Libraries (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: The Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved October 16, 2008, from

(2) The Association of College and Research Libraries (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: The Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved October 16, 2008, from

(3) International ICT Literacy Panel (2002). Digital transformation: A framework for ICT literacy (A report of the International ICT Literacy Panel). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Retrieved August 18, 2004, from

Build Your Information Literacy Skills​​

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education 
rom ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries)

Tutorials to help students learn about information and research. 

OASIS (Online Advancement of Student Information Skills) ​
Lessons for improving skills at finding, using, and evaluating information of all kinds.

Empower information literacy 
Tutorial designed to help students understand what information resources are available both in the library and on the Web. 

Acknowledging Sources 
University of Arlington at Texas online tutorial and questionnaire on plagiarism ​​

Evaluate Web ​Resources

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly ​​​
Uses some fictitious examples to prove that evaluating a web site requires good critical thinking skills.

Evaluating Web Resources​​​​​ ​

A tutorial from the University of Arizona Libraries. ​

LIB 15 Course

The library’s 3-credit online course, LIB 015-201 - Electronic Research and the Internet - will help you to develop information competencies and skills.​​

EVC Supporting Page
Evergreen Valley College