The Association of College & research Libraries defines Information Literacy in the following manner, “Information literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.” They also state the following about why it is important be proficient in information literacy, “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.” Gavin (2008) states, “In this so-called information age , students, like the public, often mistake data and information for knowledge and, if they consider it at all, misinterpret knowledge for wisdom.” As librarians we must understand the implications of her and other professionals statements in this field.
Information literacy is assessed based on the Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education, as developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2000:
-Determine the extent of information needed
-Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
-Evaluate information and its sources critically
-Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
-Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
-Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
American Library Association. (September 01, 2006.) Information literacy competency standards for higher education. In American Library Association.Accessed November 02, 2008, from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm Document ID: 185693
Committee, I. L. A. Introduction to Information Literacy. Retrieved 10/16, 2008, from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/infolit/infolitoverview/introtoinfolit/introinfolit.cfm
Gavin, C. (2008). Teaching Information Literacy A Conceptual Approach. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc.