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Information Literacy

Information literacy

This guide on Information Literacy is created based on the Information Literacy Standards of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). Its purpose is to educate, train, and familiarize students and other users with the library and its various resources in order to enhance their information literacy skills, which are fundamental requirements for higher education and everyday life in the 21st century. This guide is suitable for individuals at all levels of information searching and usage.


Having information skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, has become increasingly crucial for achieving success in both the workplace and daily life. Every day, we encounter an overwhelming amount of information from various sources and formats, making it imperative to possess information literacy skills to effectively evaluate and reason through this abundance of data. Making sound decisions on matters ranging from purchases to healthcare depends on the ability to analyze and assess the quality of available information.

Whether in college, at work, or at home, information literacy skills are essential for success. In college, these skills are necessary for performing well on research papers, projects, and presentations. In the workplace, one must often gather new information to make informed decisions. At home, individuals are constantly faced with consumer and societal issues that require engagement in the information literacy process. Developing new competencies, including knowledge, skills, and attitudes, is crucial for individuals to participate and contribute effectively in society.


  • To educate students and other users on the importance of information literacy skills in higher education and daily life in the 21st century.
  • To introduce students and other users to the library and its various resources for information searching and usage.
  • To improve the information literacy skills of students and other users through the utilization of this guide, as well as through training and practice.
  • To enhance students' ability to evaluate and analyze information from various sources and formats.
  • To develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students and other users through information literacy education.
  • To provide a comprehensive and accessible guide for information literacy at all levels of information searching and usage.
  • To empower students and other users to be active participants in their own learning and information-seeking processes.
  • To prepare students and other users for success in higher education, the workplace, and daily life by improving their information literacy skills.


This guide will enable students to:

  • Recognize the importance of information literacy skills in higher education and their personal and professional lives.
  • Locate and access various resources available in the library to facilitate information searching and usage.
  • Evaluate the quality and reliability of information from various sources and formats.
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make informed decisions based on evaluated information.
  • Create effective research strategies and conduct efficient searches using appropriate search tools and techniques.
  • Organize and synthesize information to produce coherent and accurate academic papers, projects, and presentations.
  • Utilize citation and referencing tools to give credit to sources and avoid plagiarism.
  • Become active and engaged learners who take responsibility for their own learning and seek to continually improve their information literacy skills.
  • Achieve success in higher education and their future careers by possessing advanced information literacy competencies.
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Referencing Guide

This citation guide provides a detailed summary of the most relevant guidelines to follow when citing sources, with a specific focus on APA referencing style. By referring to this guide, writers can ensure that their citations conform to the APA guidelines, which are widely used in the social sciences and other fields. Additionally, this guide emphasizes the importance of proper citation and the potential consequences of failing to cite sources correctly, especially in academic writing.

APA Style 7th Edition

In-Text Citations In-text citations are brief references within the text that identify the source of the information or idea being used. The basic format for an in-text citation is as follows:

  1. Single author: (Author, year)
  2. Two authors: (Author & Author, year)
  3. Three or more authors: (Author et al., year)
  4. Group or corporate author: (Name of Group, year) If the author is mentioned in the text, only the year needs to be included in the parentheses.For example: Smith (2020) found that...

II. Reference List

The reference list is an alphabetical list of sources cited in the text, which provides the reader with enough information to locate the source. The basic format for a reference list entry is as follows:

  1. Book: Author, A. A. (year). Title of book. Publisher.
  2. Journal article: Author, A. A. (year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue), page range.
  3. Webpage: Author, A. A. (year, month day). Title of webpage. Name of website. URL.


  • Journal article: Johnson, K. M. (2021). The Effects of Exercise on Mental Health. Journal of Health Psychology, 20(2), 156-170.
  • Webpage: American Psychological Association. (2021, March 15). APA Style.


The Open University of Kenya (OUK) is a virtual learning institution deeply committed to advancing education and driving socio-economic growth within Kenya and beyond. Access to higher education has remained a major challenge in Kenya and this has disadvantaged citizens who seek to improve their knowledge, upscale skills and for posterity. Experts have noted that increasing the number of educational institutions so as to match the rate of population growth is an extremely difficult if not impossible solution especially when financial and other resource constraints are considered. Open and Distance Learning approaches, coupled with innovative ICT solutions, have proofed viable alternatives to providing excellent education to millions of people located wherever and whenever by different life circumstances.