The Information Literacy User's Guide: An Open, Online Textbook

(11 reviews)


Deborah Bernnard, University of Albany
Greg Bobish, University of Albany
Daryl Bullis, Babson College
Jenna Hecker, University of Albany
Irina Holden, University of Albany
Allison Hosier, University of Albany
Trudi Jacobson, University of Albany
Tor Loney, Albany Public Library

Pub Date: 2014

ISBN 13: 978-0-9897226-2-9

Publisher: Open SUNY

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Reviewed by Rachel Wexelbaum, Associate Professor / Collection Management Librarian, St. Cloud State University, on 4/12/2017.

The authors do an excellent job covering different strategies using Google, research databases, and other resources to search for, evaluate, and use … read more



Reviewed by Brandi Porter, Director of Stanley Library & Associate Professor of Library Science, Ferrum College, on 2/9/2017.

The text is quite comprehensive given the expansive concept of information literacy. Use of the pillars is a good framework by which to organize the … read more



Reviewed by Tina Hovekamp, Ph.D., Library Director, Barber Library, Central Oregon Community College, on 8/22/2016.

Overall, this text is fairly comprehensive. I found the model of SCONUL Seven Pillars straightforward in its representation of the different phases … read more



Reviewed by Scott Miller, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Rogue Community College, on 8/22/2016.

The text does cover aspects of information literacy quite well. The inclusion of visual and science literacy is unusual for this type of textbook, … read more



Reviewed by Lyndsay Smanz, Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, on 1/8/2016.

The textbook is a very comprehensive approach to learning about information literacy at the college level, suitable for a 1 credit class or as … read more



Reviewed by Christina Trunnell, Head of Library and Information Services, Treasure Valley Community College, on 1/8/2016.

This book is a very thorough and comprehensive instructional text that connects students with not only the basics of information literacy but with … read more



Reviewed by Mary Wepking, Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, on 1/8/2016.

This text uses the contemporary British framework of the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Identify, Scope, Plan, Gather, Evaluate, Manage, … read more



Reviewed by Rebecca Kate Miller , Assistant Director, Learning Services , Virginia Tech , on 6/11/2015.

This text comprehensively covers basic information literacy concepts. It is interesting that the authors chose the SCONUL Seven Pillars of … read more



Reviewed by Theresa Cullen, Associate Professor, Instructional Psychology and Technology, University of Oklahoma, on 1/13/2015.

I find it pretty comprehensive. (In fact, much more than I was expecting). As I delved into the book I could see being able to use it with a variety … read more



Reviewed by Carmel Finley, Instructor, Oregon State University, on 7/16/2014.

The book is extremely comprehensive, describing the different elements of an internet search and providing a series of exercises designed to give … read more



Reviewed by Dr. Deborah Wilhelm, WINGED Coordinator, Technical Writing Instructor, California Polytechnic State University, on 7/16/2014.

Using the 7 Pillars of Information Literacy as an organizing structure, and with the addition of two chapters discussing specific kinds of … read more


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Identify: Understanding Your Information Need

Chapter 2 Scope: Knowing What Is Available

Chapter 3 Plan: Developing Research Strategies

Chapter 4 Gather: Finding What You Need

Chapter 5 Evaluate: Assessing Your Research Process and Findings

Chapter 6 Manage: Organizing Information Effectively and Ethically

Chapter 7 Present: Sharing What You’ve Learned

Chapter 8 Visual Literacy: Applying Information Literacy to Visual Materials

Chapter 9 Science Literacy: Information Literacy in the Sciences

About the Book

Good researchers have a host of tools at their disposal that make navigating today’s complex information ecosystem much more manageable. Gaining the knowledge, abilities, and self-reflection necessary to be a good researcher helps not only in academic settings, but is invaluable in any career, and throughout one’s life. The Information Literacy User’s Guide will start you on this route to success.

The Information Literacy User’s Guide is based on two current models in information literacy: The 2011 version of The Seven Pillars Model, developed by the Society of College, National and University Libraries in the United Kingdom and the conception of information literacy as a metaliteracy, a model developed by one of this book’s authors in conjunction with Thomas Mackey, Dean of the Center for Distance Learning at SUNY Empire State Col- lege.2 These core foundations ensure that the material will be relevant to today’s students.

The Information Literacy User’s Guide introduces students to critical concepts of information literacy as defined for the information-infused and technology-rich environment in which they find themselves. This book helps students examine their roles as information creators and sharers and enables them to more effectively deploy related skills. This textbook includes relatable case studies and scenarios, many hands-on exercises, and interactive quizzes.

About the Contributors


Deborah Bernnard is Head of the Dewey Graduate Library at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is also a veteran information literacy instructor. She was a member of the committee that created UNL 205, Information Literacy, a one-credit undergraduate course, taught by University at Albany librarians since 2000. She also teaches a graduate course; Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Technique. She has authored several book chapters and articles on information literacy topics.

Greg Bobish is an Associate Librarian at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has taught credit-bearing information literacy courses since 2000 and enjoys experimenting with new educational technologies and new pedagogical approaches as he tries to convey the relevance of information literacy to his students’ lives. He has received the Chancellor’s and the President’s awards for Excellence in Librarianship.

Daryl Bullis is the Lead Instruction Librarian at Babson College. He received his BA in Classics and Russian from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Russian and an MLS from the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has taught credit courses in Information Literacy and is currently researching best practices for adapting TBL methods to bibliographic instruction sessions.

Jenna Hecker is an instructional developer for the University at Albany, State University of New York and teaches Information Literacy in both face-to-face and online formats. She received her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island.

Irina Holden teaches Information Literacy in the Sciences and works as an Information Literacy and Science Outreach Librarian in the Science Library at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research interests include science literacy, reference and instruction in both traditional and virtual environments, sustainability and first year experience courses. Ms. Holden is a native of Ukraine.

Allison Hosier earned her MSIS from the University at Albany, State University of New York in 2011. She is currently an Information Literacy Librarian at Coastal Carolina University.

Trudi Jacobson is the Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She and Thomas Mackey developed the concept of metaliteracy, which has infused her teaching and her research. She loves the challenge and excitement of effective new teaching methods, and is currently involved in the development of a metaliteracy badging system. She was the recipient of the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian of the Year award in 2009. She is honored to have taught or mentored all but one of the co-authors of this book when they were graduate students.

Tor Loney is a Youth Services Librarian at Albany Public Library, concentrating on teen engagement with a focus on creative arts and emerging technologies. He previously worked as an Information Literacy Librarian and Instructor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he earned his MLIS.