What is “Information Literacy”?

According to the Association of College and Research Libraries1, an information literate individual is able to:

  • Integrate abilities which encompass reflective discovery of information
  • Understand how information is produced and valued
  • Use information to create new knowledge
  • Participate ethically in communities of learning

Why do I need to become "Information Literate"?

These skills are increasingly important because of the amount of information available and the variety of sources providing information. Information literacy is necessary to a formal education and also forms the groundwork for lifelong learning.

How do I apply "Information Literacy"?

The process of information literacy or information competency is as follows:

  • Identify the question
  • Select the appropriate sources of information
  • Evaluate the credibility of the information and sources
  • Choose the best information
  • Make this information part of your own understanding
  • Use the information to answer your question
  • Obtain and use the information in an ethical and legal manner
  • Obey copyright laws, cite information used and use technology appropriately

Being information literate is having the ability to define an information need, to gather data or information, to select and organize it into useful knowledge. This skill of finding, evaluating, and synthesizing information may be used in any area of study throughout one's life. It helps us make wise decisions and has been called the basis of democracy. 2

Books:

Alewine, Michael C. Introduction to Information Literacy for Students.
Call Number: ZA 3075 .A44 2017

Fulton, Crystal. Information Pathways
Call Number: ZA 3075 F85 2010

List-Handley, Carla, et al. Information Literacy & Technology.
Call Number: REF ZA 3075 .L575 2013

Web Sites:

Association of College & Research Libraries. (2016, January 11). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.

Hartnell College Courses That Include One or More Aspects of Information Literacy:

  • LIB 2 Introduction to the Academic Library and Information Competency (1 unit)
  • LIB 5 Information Competency in the Sciences and Applied Technology (1 unit)
  • LIB 6 Information Competency in the Social Sciences (1 unit)
  • LIB 7 Information Competency in the Arts and Humanities (1 unit)
  • BUS 43 Business Information Systems and Information Literacy (4 units)

1 ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015, February 2). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/issues/infolit/Framework_ILHE.pdf

2 Presidential Committee on Information Literacy Final Report (1989, January 10). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/publications/whitepapers/presidential

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