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Information Literacy: Home

This is an overview guide for information literacy

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society.

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP)

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

Information Literacy Frameworks & Models

ACRL Framework

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has adopted a new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016) which provides a set of six frames,  “which are those gateway or portal concepts through which students must pass to develop genuine expertise within a discipline”. The Framework is organized into:

Each frame consist of  one threshold concept. The skills gained from understanding of these information literacy concepts, The attitude resulted from understanding the concepts and acquiring the practices. 

The six concepts that anchor the frames are:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

The SCONUL7 Pillars of Information Literacy through a Digital Literacy ‘lens’

The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) updated the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model in 2011 in order to be relevant to different user communities and ages, the new model is presented as a generic “core” model for Higher Education, to which a series of “lenses”, representing the different groups of learners, can be applied. This lens defines skills and competencies (ability) and attitudes and behaviours (understanding) which might be attributed to researchers in UK Higher Education. It is expected that as a person becomes more information literate they will demonstrate more of the attributes in each pillar and so move towards the top of the pillar. 

IFLA Guidelines 

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has compiled guidelines on information literacy for lifelong learning that aid information professionals involved in educational programs in delivering information competencies for their users.  

“The IFLA standards are grouped under the three basic IL components.

  1. ACCESS. The user accesses information effectively and efficiently
  2. EVALUATION. The user evaluates information critically and competently
  3. USE. The user applies/uses information accurately and creatively”

The Australian and New Zealand information literacy Framework

The Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy developed The Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework in (2003) to provide the principles, standards and practice that can support information literacy education in all education sectors. The Framework incorporates standards and learning outcomes that consist of the characteristics, attributes, processes, knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs and aspirations associated with the information literate person. The standards are grounded in generic skills, information skills and values and beliefs. These will be affected by the specific disciplinary context. Generic skills include problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, communication and critical thinking. Information skills include information seeking, information use and information technology fluency. Values and beliefs include using information wisely and ethically, social responsibility and community participation. These dimensions of learning combine in information literacy.  

Statement of principles  

The Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework is based on four overarching principles. These are, that information literate people

  • Engage in independent learning through constructing new meaning, understanding and knowledge
  • Derive satisfaction and personal fulfillment from using information wisely
  • Individually and collectively search for and use information for decision making and problem solving in order to address personal, professional and societal issues
  • Demonstrate social responsibility through a commitment to lifelong learning and community participation 

Core standards

The principles frame six core standards which underpin information literacy acquisition, understanding and application by an individual. These standards identify that the information literate person:

  • Recognises the need for information and determines the nature and extent of the information needed
  • Finds needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Critically evaluates information and the information seeking process
  • Manages information collected or generated
  • Applies prior and new information to construct new concepts or create new understandings
  • Uses information with understanding and acknowledges cultural, ethical, economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information 
Tags: Information Literacy