The central mission of library instruction is to create information literate students. According to the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for 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.”
Thus, information literacy provides a foundation for life-long learning, the ultimate goal of education, and is common to all disciplines, learning environments, and levels of education. In the Association of American Colleges & Universities' report College Learning for the New Global Century, information literacy is discussed as an essential learning outcome students need to prepare for twenty-first century challenges. As information professionals, librarians are uniquely positioned to guide the process of integrating information literacy within the university curriculum and to ensure that students are prepared to address local and global issues and to make a difference in the cultural and economic fabric of Montana and the world.