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Information Literacy Instructor's Resource: Information Literacy Standards

This LibGuide provides information and resources for instructors who want to integrate information literacy instruction and assignments into their courses.

ACRL Information Literacy Standards

The Association of College & Research Libraries has developed national IL standards for higher education.  These standards have been accepted by the American Association of Colleges & Universities.  The South Dakota Board of Regents has approved the use of the five ACRL IL Standards as learning outcomes for its Goal 7 General Education Requirement: Information Literacy.

The boxes on this page contain displine-specific IL standards.

Anthropology & Sociology

The ACRL Anthropology & Sociology Section's Information Literacy Standards for Anthropology and Sociology Students, although based on the ACRL document, has the perspective of the research processes, knowledge base, methodologies, and search tools used in anthropology (including its four fields of cultural, biological, and linguistic anthropology, and archaeology) and sociology (including criminology and demography). The ANSS IL standards describe what students need to do in order to be effective researchers in these fields and the key behaviors for success that information literate students demonstrate.

Foreign Languages & ESL

While ACRL has not yet developed IL standards for Foreign Languages and ESL, the relevant professional standards for foreign-language teaching have standards the justify the inclusion of IL in foreign-language and ESL teaching.

Political Science

The following guidelines and associated examples, developed by the Law & Political Science Section of ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) and based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Guidelines for Higher Education, are intended to illustrate the application of information literacy standards to research in political science and related disciplines, including public administration, law, criminal justice and civic education.

Information Literacy in the Disciplines Wiki

The Association of College & Research Libraries' Information Literacy in the Disciplines Committee maintains a helpful wiki with discipline-specific information literacy standards and articles on effective teaching of information literacy within disciplines.

The boxes on this page contain discipline-specific IL standards and articles.  The ACRL wiki contains information on many more disciplines than are listed on this page.  Check them out!


These standards provide a bridge between the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) and the application of IL standards in teacher-education contexts.  The intended audiences are teacher education librarians and faculty members, and secondarily teacher-education students.  As the majority of education students enrolled in higher-education institutions, PK-12 pre-service teachers are the intended teacher-education students, regardless of their content-area specialization.


The Information Literacy Guidelines and Competencies for Undergraduate History Students have multiple purposes. They are intended to inform students of basic skills required for historical study; to provide a framework for faculty and librarians to assess those skills; to aid faculty in designing research methods classes, assignments, and projects; and to encourage collaboration between librarians and faculty in teaching, course design, and assessment of undergraduate history education. 


The Education and Behavioral Sciences Section of ACRL has charged the Psychology Information Literacy Working Group to create standards for undergraduate psychology students. As a result, the following standards, henceforth referred to as the ACRL Psychology Information Literacy Standards, map the ACRL general Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education into the domain of Psychology.

Visual Literacy

The Visual Literacy Standards were developed in the context of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, and are intended to complement the Information Literacy Standards. The Visual Literacy Standards address some of the unique issues presented by visual materials. The Standards address the distinct characteristics and issues of images and visual media and challenge students to develop a combination of abilities related to information literacy, visual communication, interpretation, and technology and digital media use.

English Literature

Based on framework of the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000), these guidelines address the need for a more specific and source-oriented approach within the discipline of English literatures, including a concrete list of research skills.


 The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Journalism Students and Professionals aim to adapt and apply the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards to Journalism. 

Science & Technology

Based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, five standards and twenty-five performance indicators have been developed for information literacy in Science & Engineering/Technology. Each performance indicator is accompanied by one or more outcomes for assessing the progress toward information literacy of students of science and engineering or technology at all levels of higher education.

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