Information Competency

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What is Information Competency?

Information Competency is more than just critical thinking, reading literacy, and rote memorization. Its definitions and interpretations have been refined over the years by numerous educational stakeholders and librarians. 

Paul Zurkowski President, Information Industry Association (1974)

In 1974, Paul Zurkowski is credited as having coined the term “information literacy.” Information Competency and Information Literacy are terms that are often used synonymously.

Association of College & Research Libraries (Division of the American Library Association)

“Information literacy is 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.”

Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC)

“Whereas information competency is the ability to: a) recognize the need for information, b) acquire and evaluate information, c) organize and maintain information, and d) interpret and communicate information.”

​​​​​​​ASCCC’s Counseling and Library Faculty Issues Committee

“Information competency is the ability to find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in all its various formats. It combines aspects of library literacy, research methods and technological literacy. Information competency includes consideration of the ethical and legal implications of information and requires the application of both critical thinking and communication skills.”

​​​​​​​​​Long Beach City College

“Information Competency is the ability to find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in all its various formats. It combines aspects of library literacy, research methods and technology proficiency.”

 

  • In Fall 1996, the ASCCC plenary body adopted the following resolution. “[R]esolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge the Chancellor’s Office and the Board of Governors to acknowledge that any development of information competency components and/or programs be the primary responsibility of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.”
  • At the 2001 Spring Plenary Session, delegates approved Resolution 9.01 S01 calling for the ASCCC to recommend to the Board of Governors (BOG) that “information competency be a locally designated graduation requirement for degree and Chancellor’s Office-approved certificate programs,” and to encourage the BOG “to provide resources for implementation and appropriate faculty development activities.”
  • Before the BOG could vote on the revised Title 5 language that would articulate the graduation requirement, the California Department of Finance announced that a college’s or district’s reexamination of its graduation requirement was an “unfunded mandate” and that the Board could not move forward with their scheduled vote.
  • Irrespective of the Department of Finance ruling, the ASCCC urges local senates, as they determine essential to their students’ education, to make recommendations to their local governing boards regarding local graduation requirements.
  • Long Beach City College is one of twenty-one California community colleges that has adhered to the ASCCC’s vision and guidance and has implemented a graduation requirement for information competency.