Information Literacy through Guided Inquiry: Preparing Students for the 21st Century


  • Carol C. Kuhlthau



Across the globe, school libraries play an essential role in preparing students for living and working in the 21st century through information literacy. The Rutgers University Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) promotes this initiative in information literacy through research on the impact of school libraries on student learning, research symposia for international scholars, and training institutes for school librarians and teachers. Our research shows that guided inquiry is a dynamic, innovative way of developing information literacy through the school library. Guided inquiry is carefully planned, closely supervised, targeted intervention of an instructional team of school librarians and teachers that leads students through the research process toward independent learning. Guided inquiry develops research skills and subject knowledge as well as fostering cooperative learning, motivation, reading comprehension, language development and social skills that underlie competency for our young people in the 21st century.