Information Literacy

It is suggested that an information literate person is one who: recognizes that accurate and complete information is the basis for intelligent decision making; recognizes the need for information; formulates questions based on information needs; identifies potential sources of information; develops successful search strategies; accesses sources of information including computer-based and other technologies; evaluates information; organizes information for practical application; integrates new information into an existing body of knowledge, and uses information in critical thinking and problem solving (Doyle, 1992). Personal and organizational information literacy should be a responsibility taken on by senior management (Drucker, 1994). Information literacy requires not only the learning of a constellation of skills, but also a new way of thinking in order to derive meaning from learning. Information Literacy is defined as the ability to access, evaluate, and use information from a variety of sources (ERIC, 1994).

The author shares the opinion that information literacy resulting in effective information use is associated with self-efficacy and that the three skill domains that are involved are the cognitive domain (e.g. skills in analysis, comprehension, synthesis, evaluation, explanation, and transformation), the affective domain (e.g., commitment, perseverance, confidence, curiosity, motivation), and the physical domain (e.g., operating tools such as computer hardware and software, and book indexes) (Julien, 2001).

Doyle, C. (1992). Outcome measures for information literacy within the national education goals of 1990.

Drucker, P. (1994, August 29). Infoliteracy. Forbes, 154, 105-109.

ERIC. (1994, May). Information literacy in an information society. ERIC Digest.

Julien, H. (Ed.). (2001). Information Use. New York NY: MacMillan Reference.