Information literacy is 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."

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association, 2006.

Information Literacy Includes¹:

  • Tool literacy - The ability to use print and electronic resources including software and online resources.
  • Resource literacy - The ability to understand the form, format, location and methods for accessing information resources.
  • Social-structural literacy - Knowledge of how information is socially situated and produced. It includes understanding the scholarly publishing process.
  • Research literacy - The ability to understand and use information technology tools to carry out research, including the use of discipline-related software and online resources.
  • Publishing literacy - The ability to produce a text or multimedia report of research results.

¹Shapiro, J. J., & Hughes, S. K. (1996, March/April). Information literacy as a
 liberal art. Educom Review, 31(2). Retrieved from

PPCC Libraries

The College's Home For Information Literacy

Instruction     ◊     Consultation     ◊     Innovation

For Faculty

Your Pikes Peak Community College librarians are information literacy specialists and would like to partner with you to address your students’ information literacy needs.  Please examine the descriptions below and plan on making an appointment with a librarian who can discuss information literacy with you and its place in your students' academic life. The librarians will be happy to answer your questions or to schedule a visit to your class.

Reference librarians assist faculty members as well. If you are preparing a new course, working on a dissertation, or conducting any other kind of research, please contact a librarian for consultation.

For Students

Librarians use several teaching methods to instruct students about information literacy (also known as bibliographic instruction.)

  • New Student Orientations - group tours of the physical and digital libraries and introduction to the reference librarians
  • Reference Desks  at Centennial and Rampart Range Libraries - one-to-one help with research, instruction on using library and information tools, and help avoiding plagiarism
  • Scheduled Consultations - individual students or groups meet with the subject-specialist librarian for in-depth help with all phases of research and information usage
  • Classroom Visits - instructors invite subject-specialist librarians to their classes to provide assignment-specific research instruction and/or hands-on research practice
  • Credit-bearing Information Literacy Courses - students enroll in a semester-long course to learn about information organization and access; choosing and narrowing topics; evaluating all types of sources; strategizing about where to look for sources; using research tools such as library catalogs and databases, government documents, archival or museum holdings, and credible web sites; and the social and legal issues related to information such as censorship and intellectual property

Partnership with the COATS Committee on Information Literacy

Carole Olds, Library Director, is a longstanding member of the Committee. She and librarians on her staff participate in strategic planning and discussion about how PPCC can strengthen students' information literacy. Further, the library is the College's information literacy hub providing training, consultation, instruction for students, and dissemination of best practices and research.