What is Information Literacy?
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as follows: Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.*
As such, information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, organize, use, and communicate information in all its various formats, most notably in situations requiring decision making, problem solving, or the acquisition of knowledge. It is a combination of research skills, critical thinking skills, computer technology skills, and communication skills. Information literacy is essential for academic success, effective functioning in the workplace, and participation in society as knowledgeable citizens.**
Information literacy skills include the ability to:
- Recognize and describe how new information is generated and vetted, as well as how and why it’s communicated to others through different types of sources.
- Effectively find, evaluate, and use information sources.
- Judge the utility, quality, and extent of information needed in making decisions.
*ACRL Standard for Information Literacy for Higher Education