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    Why is Information Literacy Important

    Why is Information Literacy Important?

    The definition of an information literate person extends beyond school and application to academic problems--such as writing a research paper--and reaches right into the workplace. Information literacy is also important to effective and enlightened citizenry, and has implications that can impact the lives of many people around the globe.

    The ability to use information technologies effectively to find and manage information, and the ability to critically evaluate and ethically apply that information to solve a problem are some of the hallmarks of an information literate individual. Other characteristics of an information literate individual include the spirit of inquiry and perseverance to find out what is necessary to get the job done.

    We live in the Information Age, and "information" is increasing at a rapid pace. We have the Internet, television, radio, and other information resources available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, just because so much  information is so easily and quickly available does not mean that all of it is worthwhile or even true.

    Because of resources like the Internet, finding high-quality information is now harder than ever,not easier!  Finding the good stuff is not always quick!  And the good stuff does not always come cheaply, either! (In short, to make it in today's Information Age, you have to be even smarter--not dumber--than your typewriter-schlepping predecessors!)

    To make matters worse, just because you know how to use a particular information technology today does not mean that there is not another one right behind it that you will have to learn how to use tomorrow! Once seemingly exotic technologies like "word processing" and "electronic mail" are now commonplace, but at one time, they were amazing and revolutionary. (To some of us, they still are).

    Today's employers are looking for people who understand and can adapt to the characteristics of the Information Age. If a student has "learned how to learn," upon graduation, they are a much more attractive job candidate. An information literate individual--with their strong analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills--can be expected to be an adaptable, capable and valuable  employee, with much to contribute.

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    LITERACY ACROSS LEARNING: INFORMATION AND CRITICAL LITERACY SKILLS CPD FOR EARLY AND FIRST LEVEL

    Information Literacy: the importance of

    Information literacy is important for today’s learners, it promotes problem solving approaches and thinking skills – asking questions and seeking answers, finding information, forming opinions, evaluating sources and making decisions fostering successful learners, effective contributors, confident individuals and responsible citizens.

    It is at the core of the Curriculum for Excellence and Literacy across learning experiences and outcomes – a responsibility of all practitioners.

    "Children and young people not only need to be able to read for information; they also need to be able to work out what trust they should place on the information and to identify when and how people are aiming to persuade or influence them." Curriculum for Excellence (2009) Literacy across learning Principles and practice paper

    They need to be able to identify what is real and relevant not just for school but for learning, life and work.

    Information literacy skills have been around for quite some time in different guises and several frameworks and definitions have been produced both nationally and internationally.

    Shigeru Aoyagi, Chief, Division of Basic Education, UNESCO, stated that:

    For all societies, Information Literacy is becoming an increasingly important component of not only literacy policies and strategies, but also of global policies to promote human development.” UNESCO (2003) Towards an Information Literate Society

    So what is Information Literacy?

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    "Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner." CILIP (2004) Information Literacy Definition

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    Information Skills - successfully, find, use and evaluate information: Home

    Good information literacy skills help you successfully, find, use and evaluate information which is key to academic success and lifelong learning

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    WHAT IS INFORMATION LITERACY?

    In the wider context, information skills are important because it helps to increase information literacy. “Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society.”  (CILIP, 2018)

    BY DEVELOPING INFORMATION LITERACY SKILLS STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO:

    Understand the need to use information and define your research topicIdentify the range of information resources availableLocate and access information using different library collectionsUse search tools to locate relevant information by applying effective search strategiesIdentify and use subject specific library databasesUse information independently and criticallyLocate and evaluate quality information on the webCite information and use it in a responsible and ethical manner

    WHY ARE INFORMATION SKILLS SO IMPORTANT?

    With information available in many formats, and of varying quality, it is essential that students have the skills to enable them to exploit the wide range of information resources available and to retrieve, evaluate and use that information effectively.

    By empowering students to develop these skills, we can contribute to their academic success and help ensure that our TUS graduates become independent and successful lifelong learners.

    HOW WE CAN HELP YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR INFORMATION SKILLS

    The library at TUS Midwest offers a range of information skills sessions to every student in each Academic Department in the Institute. Subject librarians work in close partnership with teaching staff to develop, design and deliver information literacy skills programmes across each discipline.

    Sessions can be once-off classes, project or course related instructional sessions or embedded modules. Best practice has shown that information literacy skills are best developed within the context of academic programmes.

    Information skills sessions are available throughout the year and can be booked by students and staff via library website

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    MORE INFORMATION:

    Information Literacy CILIP Information Literacy Group

    Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education ALA

    Integrating Information Literacy into the Curriculum CONUL

    Author: Padraig Kirby

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    Last Updated: Apr 26, 2022 12:30 PM

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