"Information literacy is an understanding and a set of abilities enabling individuals to recognise when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information."
Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice. 2nd ed February 2004
An information literate person is able to:
- recognise a need for information and determine the extent of information needed
- access the needed information effectively and efficiently
- critically evaluate information and the information seeking process
- manage information collected or generated
- apply prior and new information to construct new concepts or create new understandings
- understand economic, legal, social, ethical and cultural issues in the use of information
- recognise information literacy as a prerequisite for lifelong learning
UWS and Information Literacy
The University has recognised the importance of ensuring that its graduates have these capacities and, therefore,
information literacy has been incorporated as one of the required
attributes for all UWS students (UWS Graduate Attributes August 2003)
Library staff have unique expertise in information access and evaluation and in the provision of information literacy instruction. In enhancing collaborative efforts with academic staff to embed information literacy into curricula, library staff can contribute to ensuring that all UWS graduates have the capacity to locate, evaluate, and use effectively needed information.
Specific objectives are to:
- Provide opportunities and resources for all UWS staff and students to develop information literacy knowledge and skills.
- Assist in the integration of information literacy into the teaching and learning of the University.
In furthering the establishment of information literacy, the Library is guided by the framework
established by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), which has developed criteria for expressing standards for information literacy.
The Library has developed a formal information literacy program which incorporates both online and face to face tutorials. Tutorial Central
provides access to online tutorials that introduce information literacy concepts.
UWS Library provides scaffolded information literacy instruction.
First year students in targeted core units across all Schools will undertake the Successful Searching
Tutorial which has a linked assessment. This tutorial is an introduction to research techniques and tools to help students find and manage information effectively. Both tutorial and assessment are both online and accessible via the Library website and the unit vUWS pages.
It is planned that first year students will also undertake a second, discipline-based online tutorial which builds on Successful Searching. The first of these, Business Information Basics
Tutorial and assessment task is available to students enrolled in Bachelor of Business and Commerce. Students learn to develop and apply a search strategy to find business information and select information sources relevant to business discipline.
Class sessions via nominated units and introducing the literature of the specific discipline as well as advanced search skills.
Class sessions via nominated units introducing students to research tools in their disciplines and complex search strategies.
The Library offers a suite of face to face sessions with associated web assistance for postgraduates.
Research Toolkit: Introduction
This session is designed for postgraduate students and academic staff new to University of Western Sydney. It provides an overview of Library services and information resources via the UWS Library web site emphasising the UWS staff and postgraduate entry points.
Research Toolkit: Managing your citations with EndNote
An introduction to the basic aspects of creating, building, and managing a collection of bibliographic references using EndNote software.
Research Toolkit: Expanding your literature search
This session is targeted at higher degree students and at academic staff undertaking research. It covers major aspects of conducting a literature search including searching for theses, using Libraries Australia database and using citation indexes to find which articles are being cited and by whom.