“Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a topic for ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it”. – Samuel Johnson 1775
“To know where you can find anything that in short is the largest part of learning”. – Anonymous
The growing complexity of today’s environment of technological change and the vast amount of information resources faces people with diverse information choices, not just in academic, but also in personal lives. This is why information literacy is becoming a subject of growing importance for society, business, and education. According to the American Library Association’sdefinition, information literacy means an understanding and set of abilities enabling individuals to ‘recognise when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information’.
Therefore an information literate person shall be able to
- recognise a need for informationdetermine 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
- put the information into a new context and use it actively.
The amount of information that is available to students through the library’s resources – in print or online -, databases, and the Internet is immense and difficult to manage. Students are challenged to use information efficiently and effectively. Some online tutorials give a good and playful introduction to information literacy, aiming to convey skills that help to find and evaluate information.