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Information Literacy in the Westford Curriculum
What is Information Literacy?
Today's students are living in a world that has been revolutionized by ready access to vast stores of information that are continually increasing and rapidly changing. This information explosion has provided countless opportunities and has dramatically altered the knowledge and skills needed to live productively. Information literacy, the ability to find and use information, is vital if our students are to thrive personally and economically in the Information Age.

How do students develop develop information skills?
The Westford Public Schools' Library Media Specialists work with students and consult with teachers to develop the information literacy abilities students need. These include the following:

• Accessing information efficiently and effectively
• Evaluating information critically and competently.
• Using information competently in critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving
• Appreciating literature and other creative expressions of information
• Acting responsibly in regard to information particularly in respect to intellectual property rights and intellectual freedom
• Developing as a self-directed, life-long learner who can accommodate change

Since students need many carefully planned opportunities to access, use, and evaluate information in all subject areas and formats, information literacy and library skills are not taught in isolation but as part of the regular curriculum. Because library work and classroom work are done together, the teaching of the knowledge and skills of the various school subjects and the teaching of information literacy reinforce one another.

Reference: American Association of School Libraries, Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (Chicago: American Library Association, 1998).

How do students acquire information skills in Westford?
Westford's school librarians directly teach the skills students need to attain the Westford Information Skills Benchmarks for each grade level. Because information literacy is taught in collaboration with classroom and subject matter teachers, students directly apply these skills to the various curriculum areas as they learn them.

The Westford Information Skills Benchmarks were developed to support the information and research-related standards in the the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. This curriculum is aligned with the national standards of the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) and the state standards of the Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA).

What approach is used to teach these skills?
In Westford, information literacy skills are taught using the Big Six approach.