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Library Instruction and Information Literacy:
Definitions: What they Say about Information Literacy

American Library Association

"To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Producing such a citizenry will require that schools and colleges appreciate and integrate the concept of information literacy into their learning programs and that they play a leadership role in equipping individuals and institutions to take advantage of the opportunities inherent within the information society. Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn."

(American Library Association, Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report. January 10, 1989.) http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/whitepapers/presidential.htm

Association of College & Research Libraries

"Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. 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."

(Association of College & Research Libraries. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, January 18, 2000.)
http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/informationliteracycompetency.htm

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

"Information literacy frequently is introduced to students when they are expected to access and evaluate sources available in or through a library. However, it also extends to the essential tasks of analyzing the content of the material, creating new knowledge, and using that knowledge to produce a product, performance, or other activity. For these reasons, information literacy applies to anyone learning anything, anywhere, and at any time... In this sense, information literacy could be considered as a metaphor for the entire learning experience."

(Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Developing Research & Communication Skills: Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum: Executive Summary. 2003.)
http://www.msache.org/msache/content/pdf_files/devskill.pdf

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Last updated February 3, 2005
 
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