Information Literacy is
- a critical perspective, a point of view, that guides how people consume, evaluate, produce, use, and archive information
- a cluster of core, interconnected competencies that people possess that are associated with their ability to identify, find, evaluate, apply, and acknowledge information
- the competency to recognize”when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information” (American Library Association, 1989)
- a theoretical construct developed to map “a cluster of interconnected core concepts” that constitute information ecosystems (ACRL 2015)
Information Literacy may also be called
- Data Information Literacy
- Science Communication
- STEM Literacy for Learning.
Why Does Information Literacy Matter?
If people lack these critical literacy competencies, they run the risk of
- being spammed, tricked, or fooled by bad actors
- being uninformed of the best information on a topic
- making poor decisions, contrary to informed, evidence-based decision making.
What Competencies are Associated with Information Literacy?
Most generally, Information Literacy refers to a cluster of competencies, including the ability
- to recognize when you need information
- to understand the type of information you need
- to know how to search for information,
- to interpret information, and
- to know how to use and cite information.
By using critical perspectives when consuming, evaluating, or producing information, people develop competencies that have been conceptualized as “a basic human right in a digital world” (Alexandria Proclamation 2005).
|Be conscious of when you need information.|
|Learn to adeptly research information to inform and solve problems, entertain, or persuade.|
|Evaluate information critically (e.g, distinguish fake news from real news).|
|Be aware of ethical and unethical uses of information, including plagiarism.|
|Weave sources strategically into your text without undermining your purpose or losing your intended voice or tone.|
|Establish the credibility of your sources for your audience. Avoid patchwriting.|
|Cite sources correctly.|
ACRL Frameworks (aka Threshold Concepts) for Information Literacy
The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education characterizes information literacy as six critical perspectives:
- Authority is Constructed & Contextual
- Information Creation as a Process
- Information Has Value
- Research as Inquiry
- Scholarship as a Conversation
- Searching as Strategic Exploration