Library Research and Information Literacy

The University of Richmond library faculty are committed to providing a comprehensive plan for integrating information literacy into the UR curriculum beginning in the First Year Seminars, advancing through the General Education coursework, and culminating in upper division classes. The plan is based on the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and endorsed by the American Association for Higher Education.

A strong foundation of information literacy competencies forms the basis for lifelong learning. Every graduate of the University of Richmond should be able to identify, access, evaluate, and use information from a variety of research resources available through both libraries and the Internet. Students should begin to develop these abilities in First Year Seminars and develop them further in research intensive courses that require them to formulate a question or topic, find appropriate information sources, analyze those sources, and use them ethically and effectively. Students who have completed research intensive courses in a variety of subject areas will understand how researchers and practitioners in the disciplines access, use, generate, organize, and present information.

Ideally, capstone courses will provide students with opportunities to demonstrate mastery of research competencies and intellectual context within which knowledge in a subject area is generated, as well as knowledge of the subject itself.

The competencies described below are common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. They enable those who possess them to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater responsibility for their own learning. The standards describe the information literate person as one who can:

  • Determine the extent of information needed.
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently.
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically.
  • Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base.
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.

View the entire document - Information Literacy at the University of Richmond: A Four-Year Plan

For more information on anything in this document, please contact Carol Wittig (, 289-8459), Head of Research & Instruction, Boatwright Memorial Library, The University of Richmond.