Information Literacy

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A Definition of Information Literacy

Information literacy is a series of critical thinking skills that guides an individual through the process of collecting and using information.  The process involves determining a need for information, identifying possible sources, and developing search strategies to locate the appropriate information.  Further, information literacy offers a framework to evaluate and use this information to accomplish a specific purpose.

In an information-intensive world, information literacy enables individuals to master content, refine and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the type and extent of information needed;
  • Choose from a variety of sources and formats to select and access the information effectively;
  • Evaluate the information and its sources for appropriateness and credibility;
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base;
  • Use the information effectively to accomplish an identified purpose;
  • Understand the economic and social issues surrounding the use of the information;
  • Use the information ethically and legally.

Adopted from the Association of College and Research Libraries: “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education”

Information Literacy peer reviewed articles from Project Information Literacy (below):