Library skills

Library skills - also known as information and digital literacy - are fundamental for students at all levels. There are three core skills to develop effectively: finding, evaluating, and referencing information.

Why is information and digital literacy useful? 

There are two main reasons:

  • Being digitally literate helps you to better engage with information. You will be able to discover information more effectively, critically evaluate the information you have found, and reference this information accurately. 
  • In the age of AI, social media, and fake news it’s easier than ever to access information that is unsound or unaccountable. Understanding this information environment can help you become a better informed and more confident citizen in wider life.

The 3 core areas

Each area of digital and information literacy has three levels: beginnerintermediate, and advanced. These broadly correspond to the years of an undergraduate degree. 

As you progress through your degree and grow as a researcher you should become competent with the activities listed for each level. If you feel you need guidance with any of them, sources of help are listed at the bottom of this page.

Next steps

These library skills represent a pathway to information and digital literacy.

If you need help with any of them feel free to contact your Subject Librarian, who you can find by searching for your subject here.

A picture of a laptop and journal viewed from above, can also see top of students head and arms Library workshops and training

If you need help with library skills, take a look at our Events page to find workshops and other training events. All are free to attend.

Shows a meeting, focused in on one persons hands and laptop, with others in the background One-to-one tutorials

For help with discovering, referencing and critically evaluating sources, book an online tutorial with our Teaching and Learning Librarians.

Further reading for academics and librarians

The above is an abridged version of our information and digital literacy framework. You can find a comprehensive and fully-referenced version here: IDL Framework (PDF, 124kB).

For a set of case studies illustrating how our information and digital literacy teaching has been carried out across the University, see here: IDL Case Studies (PDF, 3,464kB).

A photo of one of the reading rooms in the Wills Memorial Library. Subject Librarians

For further help and support please contact your subject librarian, who you can find listed by subject here.

A screenshot of the title slide of the Using Library Search tutorial. Using Library Search

This tutorial will familiarise you with the basic features of Library Search, and some advanced ones too.

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