Standards: ACRL, NEASC, UNESCO
Critically evaluates and incorporates new information into current knowledge base and values system.
Uses information effectively, as an individual or as a team member, to accomplish a specific purpose.
Understands the economic, social, and legal issues surrounding information access and uses information ethically and legally.
NEASC Standards 7.1 to 7.11, 4.19, 4.20, 4.53
Many thanks to Randy Hensley at Baruch College for inspiring some of the content that appears on this guide.
What Is Information Literacy?
The information literate student is fluent in the manner of integrating critical thinking skills in both print and digital environments. Students are expected to graduate with fluencies that allow them to effectively communicate and perform competitively in environments that are information-rich and technologically intensive.
In order to thrive in a fast-moving global workplace and as an informed citizen of their community, graduates are increasingly expected to employ research skills acquired at the university level.
In the Classroom
On the Job
In 2000, the U.S. Department of Labor found that key Workplace Essential Skills include the ability to "acquire and evaluate information". A majority of the twenty-one national and international sources surveyed also cite "locating, interpreting, converting, utilizing, and analyzing information in all formats and from all media" as essential to competing in the modern workplace (34).
Reach Higher, America: Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce, a June 2008 Report of the National Commission on Adult Literacy, states that the U.S. ranks poor among 30 OECD free-market countries when comparing education levels of the current and previous generations (v). In order to improve workplace skills by 2020, the Commission is urging greater emphasis on the ability "to communicate, acquire information, think critically, solve problems, use technology, and work in teams" (vii).
In a Global Society
The need for information literate graduates is echoed on the global scale in a 2009 World Bank report entitled, The Role of Media Literacy in the Governance Reform Agenda. Defined as "21st century survival literacies" by F.W. Horton, Jr., an active citizen has mastered "basic literacy skills, computer literacy, media literacy, distance education and e-learning, culturaly literacy, and information literacy" (4).