What is Information Literacy?
According to the Association of College and Research Libraries:
Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.
The beginning of the 21st century has been called the Information Age because of the explosion of information output and information sources. It has become increasingly clear that students cannot learn everything they need to know in their field of study in a few years of college. Information literacy equips them with the critical skills necessary to become independent lifelong learners.
Too often we assume that as students write research papers and read textbooks they are gaining sufficient IL skills. This is not so. IL skills may be introduced, but what is needed is a parallel curriculum in IL forming a strong foundation of a college education.
As the American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy (January 10, 1989, Washington, D.C.) says “Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.”