Information Literacy Curriculum

The Internet is changing the way people find and use information. In 1995, the Purdue Libraries Faculty adopted the Goals and Objectives for our Information Literacy Curriculum.

"Librarians at Purdue University have developed one of the best sets of learning outcome statements in use today."(Breivik, Patricia Senn. Student Learning in the Information Age. Phoenix, AZ, Oryx Press, 1998, p 49.)

Since the development of our own goals, the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education have been developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries and approved by the American Association for Higher Education. The Libraries Faculty Curriculum Committee coordinates development of the curriculum materials.

Purdue University Libraries Information Literacy Curriculum

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1 - User understands the role, value, and power of information in modern society.

  • User understands the importance and process of scholarly communication.
  • User understands the role information plays in industry.
  • User knows how governments and organizations such as professional societies, universities, etc. generate and distribute information.
  • User appreciates how information may be used to improve one's quality of life.
  • User comprehends the globalization of information.

Goal 2 - User understands and is able to communicate his/her specific need(s) for information.

  • User understands the role of information professionals and subject experts to assist in defining information needs.
  • User understands the factors which may determine how an interest area can be refined and can formulate a topic which can be pursued.

Goal 3 - User understands that information varies in its organization, content and format.

  • User understands that information sources may be grouped in a variety of ways.
  • User knows and appreciates the differences between the level of sources available (primary, secondary, etc.).
  • User understands how information is structured within an area of interest.
  • User can distinguish between various treatments of a subject.
  • User is aware of the different means by which information may be delivered (e.g. orally, microform, paper, electronically).

Goal 4 - User can retrieve information from a variety of systems and in various formats.

  • User can create an efficient plan based upon his/her information needs.
  • User can accurately interpret bibliographic citations.
  • User can successfully navigate within the libraries and other information realms they use.
  • User can devise a search based upon the capabilities, structure, and access points of an information resource.

Goal 5 - User can evaluate information sources.

  • User can evaluate the relevance of the information retrieved.
  • User can identify relevant factors that may constrain their retrieval of information.
  • User recognizes that no one source is comprehensive.
  • User can evaluate the quality and relevance of an information source.

Goal 6 - User understands how to organize information effectively.

  • User is able to read, understand and create citations.
  • User can organize information into personal information files or systems.