Sunday, June 20, 2004

For a clever country: information literacy diffusion in the 21st century This is by Alana Bundy. It is a background and issues paper for the first national roundtable on information literacy conducted by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and held at the State Library of Victoria 28 February 2001.

From the site:

Information literacy - what is it?

Information literacy is an understanding and set of abilities enabling individuals to ‘recognise when information is needed and have the capacity to identify, locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information’. An information literate person is a person who has learned how to learn, and is able to

* recognise a need for information
* determine the extent of information needed
* access the needed information efficiently
* evaluate the information and its sources
* incorporate selected information into their knowledge base
* use information effectively to accomplish a purpose
* understand economic, legal, social and cultural issues in the use of information
* access and use information ethically and legally
* classify, store, manipulate and redraft information collected or generated
* recognise information literacy as a prerequisite for lifelong learning

Information literacy - why?

Information literacy is required because of proliferating information access and resources. Individuals are faced with diverse, abundant, information choices¾in their studies, in the workplace, and in their lives. Information is available through community resources, special interest organisations, manufacturers and service providers, media, libraries, and the internet. Increasingly, information comes unfiltered. This raises questions about authenticity, validity, and reliability. In addition, information is available through multiple media, including graphical, aural, and textual. These pose special challenges in evaluating, understanding and using information in an ethical and legal manner. The uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information also pose large challenges for organisations of all types, and for society itself. Sheer abundance of information and technology will not in itself create more informed citizens without a complementary understanding and capacity to use information effectively.

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