The article reports on an action research project to investigate the effectiveness of an information literacy intervention for first-year engineering students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The intervention consisted of two workshops which aimed at teaching the students to find information relevant to their essays via the university’s online public access catalogue (OPAC) and engineering databases and to reference and cite their sources. The project assessed students’ information skills before and after the two workshops with the use of a questionnaire consisting of a set of questions based on some of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) standards. The research provides insight into how information literacy education at CPUT library can be improved. Its major recommendations are that more periods in the timetable must be allocated to information literacy education and that lecturers should recognise the educational role of librarians.