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Information Guides for Silberman School of Social Work

City University of New York, Hunter College, Hunter College Libraries

The Information Literate Social Worker

Information Literacy & Social Work Practice

Information Literacy refers to a way of thinking that shapes one’s relationship with the information universe across all aspects of one’s life.  Technologies evolve, disciplines advance, and resources change.  An information literate social worker possesses the capacity to traverse this churn, identifying the need for information, discovering and evaluating the resources available, and integrating new knowledge into practice. 

Information literacy and social work practice intersect in myriad ways.  A short list includes: engagement with evidence-based practice models, in the development and assessment of services and programs, in treatment planning and case management, in grant writing, and in research. 

Information literacy is essential to life-long learning, a value central to the ethical practice of social work.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Margaret Bausman

Information Literacy Sessions Taught in Social Work Courses at Silberman

A one hour information literacy class for social work practice is taught by a Faculty Librarian in each section of the courses below:


Podcast and Q&A

The Social Work & Urban Public Health Library: 

A Brief Introduction


Module 1

Online Workshop for Incoming Students

The Foundation: Library Resources for Social Work

Asynchronous material followed by synchronous  Zoom class

Module 2

702  Policy II                              (Spring Semester)

The Expanding Information Universe:

Integrating Subscription & Publicly Available Information Sources for Social Work

Linked to position paper / advocacy memo

Module 3

751 Research I                         (Fall Semester)

Social Work Research :

Advanced Database Search Strategies

Linked to literature review

Module 4

790  Professional Seminar                                       (Spring Semester)

The Professional Seminar Project & the Information Literate Social Worker

Linked to final paper / project

Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) : Information Literacy in Higher Education

"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.

"The Framework opens the way for librarians, faculty, and other institutional partners to redesign instruction sessions, assignments, courses, and even curricula; to connect information literacy with student success initiatives; to collaborate on pedagogical research and involve students themselves in that research; and to create wider conversations about student learning, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the assessment of learning on local campuses and beyond."

- ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education