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We're seeing a spate of calls for proposals for excellent conferences. You probably have a great project to share, so consider submitting a proposal to present. If the team at Project SAILS can help, just let us know.

These are all either about information literacy, or they have information literacy as a major theme. Listed in order of proposal deadline.

ACRL 2013: Association of College and Research Libraries.
April 10 - 13, 2013
Indianapolis, Indiana
Proposals due November 9, 2012 for cyber zed shed presentations, poster sessions, roundtable discussions, and virtual conference Webcasts.

LOEX 2013: 
41st Annual LOEX Conference.
May 2 - 4, 2013
Nashville, Tennessee
Proposals for breakout sessions due November 16, 2012.
Proposals for poster sessions due January 25, 2013.
NOTE: Students currently enrolled in a graduate program in library and information sciences along with librarians in resident or intern programs are invited to propose poster sessions.

LILAC 2013:  Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference.
March 25 – 27, 2013
Manchester, England
Proposals due November 16, 2012.

WILU 2013: Workshop for Instruction in Library Use.
May 8 - 10, 2013
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Proposals due December 3, 2012.

European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL).
October 22 – 23, 2013
Istanbul, Turkey
Proposals due February 1, 2013.

Georgia Conference on Information Literacy.
September 20 – 21, 2013
Savannah, Georgia
Proposal deadline is March 15, 2013.


The development of the digital world has created one major problem – information overload. Information is accessible 24/7 from a variety of sources with varying viewpoints, authority, and credibility. Successfully navigating this complex world of information is possible but only when information literacy skills have been developed.

The Association of College and Research Libraries defines information literacy as “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.”  We believe this definition of information literacy highlights its importance for all areas of life – including academics, work, and in one’s personal life.

Why Information Literacy is Important

Information literacy should be a fundamental principle in college education as it shares a common vision with institutions of higher learning – to develop skills for life-long learning. The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education states that, “Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.”

It is also vital to future generations as information is created more rapidly and in larger quantities than in past generations. It is much harder to “weed-out” biased, false, and misleading information as the accessibility of information-creating technology has rapidly increased.

When Information Literacy Skills Will Be Used

Information literacy is generally associated with research papers or class projects but we think information literacy has many implications beyond the classroom. Many daily tasks in the workplace involve the need to find and evaluate information in order to perform a job appropriately. Other common decisions where information literacy plays a role include tasks such as researching health issues, choosing which car to purchase, deciding what to do on your family vacation, watching an evening newscast critically, and so much more. Another major use for information literacy skills is selecting viewpoints and opinions on current news and political issues.

We strongly believe in the need to develop the information literacy skills of students across the United States, which led us to create our information literacy test for colleges and universities. We hope you consider using our assessment at your institution so that together we can develop a generation of information literate citizens.

The ALAO Conference is finally here and we’re excited to see everyone this Friday at the Project SAILS table. We'll be tweeting live from the conference so be sure to follow us on Twitter to follow the conversations and topics discussed at the conference. You can also follow all highlights from the ALAO Conference on Twitter by using the hashtag #ALAO12.

Bring your questions about information literacy to us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Have questions on information literacy assessment but can’t attend the conference? Post your questions and comments here or visit

Safe travels to ALAO!


ALAO 2012 is Friday, October 26 and the Project SAILS team is preparing for this event and the opportunity to showcase the importance of information literacy assessment to universities and colleges throughout Ohio.

Information literacy assessment can help to identify gaps in student learning and locate key areas for improvement. The Project SAILS individual and group online assessments  are based on ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and can deliver the data and insights you need to document curriculum successes and areas for improvement.

ALAO is a great opportunity to visit with Project SAILS co-founder, Carolyn Radcliff at our booth. Carolyn has over 20 years experience as an academic librarian and is currently a professor of University Libraries for Kent State University. Carolyn is a published author on information literacy assessment and has actively lent her expertise to ACRL and RUSA. She will be available to offer further insights on information literacy assessment and its importance in the higher education library setting.

ALAO visitors will also have the opportunity to discover how the Project SAILS individual and group information literacy tests are:

  • Statistically reliable
  • Easily administered online
  • Respectful of your budget
  • Timely and relevant

Are you attending ALAO? Let us know what excites you about this year’s conference.

Finding clever ways to engage students (specifically college students) when teaching information literacy skills can be a tough feat. One of the easiest methods for teaching evaluation methods in the classroom is to use current events in the news. This gives students the opportunity to share what they think on a topic, what information they have obtained, and how that information has helped in forming that opinion.

Emily Gover, an in-house librarian for EasyBib, recently wrote a blog post on how librarians and faculty can use the current election season to teach students evaluation skills – a very important piece of information literacy.

Emily Gover says in her blog post, “The election season is a great opportunity to introduce the importance of evaluation skills to students. Specifically, we can stress the importance of understanding facts, propaganda and bias… and how all three play a huge role in advertising (and sometimes reporting) of the campaigns.”

She also highlights a few great resources offered by Infotopia to aid in using the election to teach information literacy skills. It’s important that students understand the importance of evaluating information – especially in regard to selecting the next president.

Click to read her full post and begin developing the information literacy skills of your students today!