What Is Information Literacy?

The Association of College and Research Libraries has defined information literacy as “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.”  Whether we view these abilities as a set of competencies that people can develop or as a set of threshold concepts that lead the way to greater discoveries, information literacy is a core element of student learning at the University of Maine at Augusta and is an element of the University’s general education learning outcomes.

What is the library’s role?

The UMA Libraries are committed partners in UMA’s goal of helping students develop their information literacy competencies.

  • Librarians work with faculty who are teaching information literacy competencies in their courses.
  • Librarians develop information literacy training modules that can complement the learning goals faculty have set for their students.
  • Librarians train students in specific information literacy competencies through in-class library instruction sessions.
  • Library staff teach information literacy skills while answering students’ questions about library use.
  • Library staff work with the UMA administration to report out on the information literacy teaching and learning at UMA.


  • Faculty containers were designed to provide instructors with information literacy content that is relevant to the University of Maine System and can be easily shared within a learning management system such as Blackboard. Instructors may choose to add the entire module or select one or more of the units below to add to their course. For more information or to set-up a faculty container in a course, please contact ocls@maine.edu.
  • Off-Campus Library Services has developed a number of online video tutorials in partnership with other libraries and departments on campus.  Please also check out the URSUS Libraries video tutorials.