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What is Information Literacy?

What is information literacy?

The term "information literacy" describes a set of abilities and skills that enables an individual to find, evaluate, and use information. You can think of information literacy as having five components or pillars as we call them: Prepare, Discover, Question, Manage and Communicate. Information literacy is a lifelong learning process, something beginning before you arrive at university and developing as you progress through your programme of study and into your future career. While each skill is individually important, understanding how they fit together is essential to becoming an information literate person. Use the menu on the left hand side or select a pillar below to find out more information.

Text box outlined in red with the word Prepare in the middle Text box outlined in green with the word Discover in the middle + Text box outlined in purple with the word Question in the middle + Text box outlined in blue with the word manage in the middle + Text box outlined in orange with the word communicate in the middle

= Pillars of Information Literacy


Why is Information Literacy Important?

Every day we encounter increasingly large and diverse amounts of information through the internet, the media, books, journals, newspapers to name but a few. You can find information in many different formats, from an endless number of sources. However, the quality of information varies greatly between the available information choices. Just think of a typical internet search; as well as retrieving authoritative, current, and reliable sources you will find biased, outdated, misleading, or false sources. Furthermore, an online search is likely to result in information overload! The sheer amount and variety of information available makes information literacy skills important to master!

Information literacy skills are vital to success in your personal, professional, and academic life. At university, you use these skills to succeed on assignments, projects, and presentations. At work you will likely encounter situations where you must find new information to make logical decisions. In the home, you are constantly faced with deciding consumer issues and forming opinions on social and political topics. Each situation requires engagement in the information literacy process.


Want to know more?

Watch the video below.

"Research foundations" by Seminole State College of Florida Library licensed under CC BY-4.0 / modified from original with additional text