What is information literacy?
Information literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information and to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.
Why do we want to achieve information literacy?
The ability to find and use information effectively and efficiently is a critical skill for lifelong learning and problem solving. Students who are information literate have greater success in completing their degrees. Misinformation or ignorance of available information can lead to poor decisions and negatively impact our well-being, finances, and many other aspects of our lives.
Information literacy standards
A person who is information literate is able to:
- Identify a specific information need; develop and acquire strategies for obtaining information.
- Identify relevant resources (online catalog, library databases, print periodicals, internet resources, books) and execute a basic search.
- Interpret catalog, database, and Web search results; use linked subject headings, indices, citations, references, and other tools to find additional resources.
- Evaluate information gathered by such criteria such as: relevance, authority, currency, peer review process.
- Revise topics and strategies if search results are unsatisfactory.
- Summarize, organize and synthesize information found.
- Cite sources properly, observe copyright guidelines and use information ethically.
- Identify and use specialized information sources (e.g., informational interviews, subject dictionaries, primary sources, technical reports, non-print media when needed.)
- Apply acquired information and research skills in new situations and contexts.
- Be aware of new resources and be willing to learn new information technology.
Resources for developing information literacy
The library has resources and tools to help students become information literate.
- Attend one of our drop-in workshops in person.
- Use our self-paced Research Paper Learning Module or Library Instruction videos
- Find general library guides and materials created for specific class assignments.
- Take a one-unit Library and Information Science course at Butte College.
- Stop by the reference desk or schedule a consultation session with a librarian.
Remember - when in doubt, ask a Librarian!