About Information Literacy


What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is recognizing when and why you need information, knowing how to find and evaluate it, and using it in an ethical manner. DCCCD Instruction Team, 2009

The information literate student can:

  • Determine the extent of information he or she needs
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and be able to access and use information ethically and legally

Why is information literacy important?

The ability to think critically about information is a fundamental part of critical inquiry in the Information Age. Having more information from which to choose can make research more difficult rather than easier. Often the easiest information to find is unfiltered or unreliable, making information literacy skills more important than ever.

Information literacy skills are important for students' academic, work and personal lives. In academia, discipline specific information is constantly changing, and much of what students learn in class will become outdated. An information literate student is a lifelong learner, with the skills necessary to continually find and evaluate information about new developments in an academic discipline. In an information economy, students will need information literacy skills to succeed in the work force, whether they are creating a marketing proposal for a new product or looking for current medical research to treat a patient. Information literacy skills also enrich students personal and civic lives. For example, students will draw upon these skills to apply for government services, buy a car, participate in elections, make informed health care dicisions for themselves and their families, and manage their finances.

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