What is Information Literacy?

According to the Association for College and Research Libraries (http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/infolit/overview/):

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."
An information literate individual is able to:
  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

Information literacy equips you "with the critical skills necessary to become independent lifelong learners." You need to be able to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information for your course projects, your job, your role as a citizen, and in your personal life. Throughout your life, you will have a variety of information needs (from research papers to finding out about a medical procedure for a family member) and the sources you choose will vary depending on your need.

Copyright 2010-2013 Old Dominion University -- ODU Libraries, updated September 2013