Skip to content

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

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

    (18 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

    Copyright Year:

    ISBN 13: 9780989722629

    Publisher: Open SUNY

    Language: English

    Formats Available

    Conditions of Use

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


    Learn more about reviews.

    Reviewed by Jeannette Bruno, Library Faculty, City Colleges of Chicago on 3/8/23

    This text is based on the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy and is quite comprehensive in that. Not only does the text explain each pillar, but also includes worksheets and activities that can be used in class. The PDF of this text links to... read more

    Reviewed by Darci Adolf, Director of Library & Media Services, Oregon Coast Community College on 6/12/21

    The Information Literacy User's Guide was fairly comprehensive for my use as an instructor. The text was written based on the British seven pillars model. Each chapter covered a pillar, with the addition of a chapter on visual literacy and one... read more

    Reviewed by Sharon Cotman, Professor, Thomas Nelson Community College on 5/31/21

    The Information Literacy User's Guide: An Open, Online Textbook is comprehensive and focuses on The Seven Pillars Model of information literacy. This textbook can be used in any discipline to learn information literacy skills that meet the... read more

    Reviewed by D'Arcy Hutchings, Instructional Design Librarian; Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage on 1/10/21

    The book is built around the SCONUL (British) Seven Pillars model with the addition of chapters on visual and science literacies. With a chapter dedicated to each Pillar, the book is quite comprehensive. There are topics I wish were covered and... read more

    Reviewed by Marisol Moreno Ortiz, Library Reference Assistant/Librarian, Linn-Benton Community College on 1/10/20

    The text covers all the pillars and provides additional links for further sources for the students. The content page is clear and provides easy access to the chapters. read more

    Reviewed by Timothy Hackett, Reference/Instruction/OER Librarian, Peralta Community College District (Merritt College) on 9/26/19

    The text is based on the SCONUL format; this provides a solid framework for students to Information Literacy and its related issues. read more

    Reviewed by Cheryl Hoover, Distance Learning Librarian, Montana State University - Billings on 7/31/19

    The text offers a very comprehensive treatment of the subject, including coverage of developing research questions, thesis statements, and search terms. All digital versions include an effective hyper-linked table of contents. The text links to an... read more

    Reviewed by Rachel Wexelbaum, Associate Professor / Collection Management Librarian, St. Cloud State University on 4/11/17

    The authors do an excellent job covering different strategies using Google, research databases, and other resources to search for, evaluate, and use information critically and ethically in visual or written form. They also provide information... read more

    Reviewed by Brandi Porter, Director of Stanley Library & Associate Professor of Library Science, Ferrum College on 2/8/17

    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 chapters and discuss the various stages of research. The authors also move beyond basic concepts... read more

    Reviewed by Tina Hovekamp, Ph.D., Library Director, Barber Library, Central Oregon Community College on 8/21/16

    Overall, this text is fairly comprehensive. I found the model of SCONUL Seven Pillars straightforward in its representation of the different phases of information seeking process, and I appreciated the emphasis the authors placed on the fact that... read more

    Reviewed by Scott Miller, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Rogue Community College on 8/21/16

    The text does cover aspects of information literacy quite well. The inclusion of visual and science literacy is unusual for this type of textbook, but welcome. There was obviously much thought put into the structure and focus of the book, but... read more

    Reviewed by Lyndsay Smanz, Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on 1/7/16

    The textbook is a very comprehensive approach to learning about information literacy at the college level, suitable for a 1 credit class or as supplemental material for any other course that includes a research component. While the content of the... read more

    Reviewed by Christina Trunnell, Head of Library and Information Services, Treasure Valley Community College on 1/7/16

    This book is a very thorough and comprehensive instructional text that connects students with not only the basics of information literacy but with practical application. Further, each step of the information literacy process is coupled with a... read more

    Reviewed by Mary Wepking, Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee on 1/7/16

    This text uses the contemporary British framework of the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Identify, Scope, Plan, Gather, Evaluate, Manage, Present. This forms not only the content of the first seven chapters of the book, but also provides... read more

    Reviewed by Rebecca Kate Miller , Assistant Director, Learning Services , Virginia Tech on 6/10/15

    This text comprehensively covers basic information literacy concepts. It is interesting that the authors chose the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy as the book's framework, since a number of additional information literacy models... read more

    Reviewed by Theresa Cullen, Associate Professor, Instructional Psychology and Technology, University of Oklahoma on 1/12/15

    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 of audiences. I am an educational technology professor working with both graduate and... read more

    Reviewed by Deborah Wilhelm, WINGED Coordinator, Technical Writing Instructor, California Polytechnic State University on 7/15/14

    Using the 7 Pillars of Information Literacy as an organizing structure, and with the addition of two chapters discussing specific kinds of information literacy (visual and scientific), the text provides a broad overview of information literacy... read more

    Reviewed by Carmel Finley, Instructor, Oregon State University on 7/15/14

    The book is extremely comprehensive, describing the different elements of an internet search and providing a series of exercises designed to give practice in efficiently finding, storing, and assessing information. It covers a range of searches,... read more

    Table of Contents

    • 1 Identify: Understanding Your Information Need
    • 2 Scope: Knowing What Is Available
    • 3 Plan: Developing Research Strategies
    • 4 Gather: Finding What You Need
    • 5 Evaluate: Assessing Your Research Process and Findings
    • 6 Manage: Organizing Information Effectively and Ethically
    • 7 Present: Sharing What You've Learned
    • 8 Visual Literacy: Applying Information Literacy to Visual Materials
    • 9 Science Literacy: Information Literacy in the Sciences

    Ancillary Material

    Submit ancillary resource

    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.

    Contribute to this Page

    Suggest an edit to this book record