Information Literacy

A Southeastern Massachusetts Public Higher Education Partnership

Library Core Competency
Standards for Information Literacy and Matrix

Core Competency Standards for Information Literacy

At the February 2006 meeting of the CONNECT Library Directors and Information Literacy Librarians, it was proposed that a subcommittee be created that would develop a matrix concentrating on core competencies in Information Literacy. It was decided to focus on English 101/102 as a logical place to promote Information Literacy. Librarians from the five CONNECT institutions and Massachusetts Maritime met and developed the matrix, modeling on the English composition matrix as developed by the English CONNECT group.





Use of online catalog Cannot identify the catalog; regularly asks for assistance using and locating items.

Understands what is in the database; knows what the call number is. Can differentiate between reference, circulating, and other collections.

Understands catalog record. Understands different search skills (e.g. keyword, subject, browse). Understands how to use subject terms.


Does not document sources and does not understand the need. Cannot write or identify the elements of a citation. Does not understand plagiarism.

Knows what information is needed to write a citation; knows when to cite. Rudimentary understanding of plagiarism.

Can write an appropriate citation in the style needed; understands and respects intellectual property. Understands that they are contributing to the knowledge-base of the field.

Understanding Development of Research Strategy Unable to identify the formats needed. Does not know who or when to ask for help. Uses one source (probably Google) for everything. Does not understand how much time research takes. Cannot understand research need. Understands that there are different types of formats. Knows when to ask for help. Knows to use more than one source. Understands that good research takes time. Needs help formulating question. Selects proper formats for information needs. Uses a variety of resources effectively. Uses Boolean operators effectively. Modifies strategy as research progresses; breaks down tasks into manageable time pieces.
Evaluation of Sources Does not analyze; accepts all information as equally valid. Understands that search engines do not vet web pages, but may not understand that analysis of other resources is also necessary. Analyzes all resources for accuracy.
Database Use and other online materials Cannot identify any database. Relies mainly on Google. Can identify some database(s), but does not always use them. Asks for help to choose appropriate database. Uses Google when appropriate. Uses appropriate database for research need. Understands the value of a subscription database.
What is Information Believes all information to be equally valid. Understands difference between opinion and fact, may not be able to distinguish that difference. Understands and can identify bias/opinion. Recognizes that there is a difference between popular and scholarly material.