About Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy 

The American Library Association defines information literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”

Why is Information Literacy Important?

Information literacy skills are important because they help support students in the areas listed below:

  • Academic Success -- Strong information literacy skills foster success in college coursework, especially as students strive to integrate information into the writing, public speaking, and critical thinking required for college courses and academic programs. 

  • Career Success -- A Job Outlook survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, as cited by Project Information Literacy (2012), found that the “ability to obtain and process information” is ranked fourth highest of the ten skills regarded by employers as very important in their employees. Information literacy is ranked in importance only after teamwork skills, verbal communication skills, and problem-solving skills.

  • Personal Life / Lifelong Learning -- Information literacy also extends into our personal lives, as we seek the most accurate information we can find when making high-stakes health-care decisions, life-changing financial decisions, or any number of large and small decisions that will impact our lives.

Information Literacy @ Kean University

Kean University faculty members support students in their development of this essential skill, as Information and Technology Literacy is embedded into many General Education courses as a student learning outcome.

Kean University’s Learning Commons provides access to information through WorldCat Discovery and more than 200 other library databases that lead to books and ebooks, scholarly journal articles, streaming online videos, statistics and data, company and industry information, and much more. 

Librarians working in the Learning Commons offer digital and in-person support meant to help students practice the information literacy skills necessary for conducting library research and gathering information for scholarly projects, creative works, career development, and lifelong learning. 

Visit the other tabs listed above to see the various ways that the Learning Commons supports student development of information literacy skills.

Options for Library Instruction / Information Literacy Instruction

Librarians offer digital and in-person support meant to help Kean University students practice the information literacy skills necessary for conducting library research and gathering information for scholarly projects, creative works, career development, and lifelong learning.

Kean University students may access information literacy / library instruction support in the following formats:

  • LEARN (Library Essentials for Access and Research Navigation) Blackboard module

    • The LEARN module is available to Kean students anytime, anywhere through the “My Courses” list in their own Blackboard accounts..

    • Students enrolled in GE 202x: Research and Technology and GE 3000: Transfer Transitions are automatically enrolled in the LEARN module by the second week of the semester. 

    • All other students may access the LEARN module through the "self-enrollment" steps described in the LEARN Self-Enroll Video or LEARN Self-Enroll handout.

    • Kean faculty are automatically enrolled in the LEARN module, enabling them to preview the content through their own Blackboard accounts. 

  • Information Literacy Webinars

    • A variety of live webinars taught by Kean librarians are held online, so that students may attend from any location through a computer or other Internet-enabled device.

    • Register for one of more of the “Information Literacy/Library Resources” webinars listed on the Learning Commons workshop schedule.

  • College Hour Workshops 

  • Information Literacy Webinar Recordings 

    • Students may view (or revisit) previous webinars hosted by librarians. 

  • Research Consultation Appointments with a Librarian

    • Any student requiring specialized research assistance may request an appointment with a reference librarian through the various "Contact Us" options listed on the Ask a Librarian page.

For more information regarding information literacy / library instruction options, please contact either Linda Cifelli at 908-737-4603 or lcifelli@kean.edu or Craig Anderson at 908-737-4602 or cjanders@kean.edu.

Information Literacy FAQ Videos

Listed below are brief videos demonstrating answers to frequently asked questions regarding information literacy concepts.  

Access Video Subtitles/Closed Captions:

Click the "CC" button available near a video's bottom right corner in order to view the video's "subtitles/closed caption". 

View Video transcripts:

Click the three dots (...) below the bottom right corner of a video, then click “Open transcript” in order to view the transcript for the video’s audio narration.

Digital Information Literacy Modules

Transition to Kean (GE 1000)
The Transition to Kean information literacy module was designed for first-year students enrolled in the GE 1000 course. This module consists of one brief introductory video, four brief interactive tutorials, and one online “assignment.” 


If required by your professor, please complete the online “assignment” provided below after viewing the tutorial modules listed above. Once you have answered the final question, you will be able to email your answers to yourself, and this email message may be submitted to your Transition to Kean (GE 1000) instructor for credit.

LEARN: Library Essentials for Access and Research Navigation

The LEARN Blackboard module was designed for students enrolled in the Research and Technology (GE 202x) and Transfer Transitions (GE 3000) courses. However, students enrolled in other courses may also complete the LEARN module.

LEARN focuses on information literacy concepts, arranged into the following four units:

  • Developing Topics and Using Reference Resources

  • Selecting and Searching Databases

  • Appropriate Use of Scholarly Works: Identifying Valid Sources

  • Appropriate Use of Scholarly Works: Providing Proper Attribution of Sources


The LEARN module is available to Kean students anytime, anywhere through the “My Courses” list in their own Blackboard accounts.

  • Students enrolled in GE 202x: Research and Technology and GE 3000: Transfer Transitions are automatically enrolled in the LEARN module by the second week of the semester.

  • All other students may access the LEARN module through the "self-enrollment" steps described in the LEARN Self-Enroll Video.

  • Kean faculty are automatically enrolled in the LEARN module, enabling them to preview the content through their own Blackboard accounts.

Open Chat box
X