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Research Guides

Information Literacy & Library Research: Information Literacy

Information literacy is the ability to know when information is needed and to be able to identify, locate and evaluate, and then legally and responsibly use and share that information.

Information Literacy

What is information literacy? Why is it important enough to have an entire class dedicated to it?

Information literacy is defined as: "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" (ACRL 2015). So what does that mean for you?

This means it's a set of skills that you will be using not only for INFO 1010 and English 2010, but for the rest of your college experience and even the rest of your life.

Anytime you Google something, you are using information. Browsing social media and deciding if a post is worth reading or sharing is information literacy. Anytime you use a book or article as evidence for a paper, you are using information. Information literacy is knowing how and when to use what information to the best possible capacity.

Information literacy is:

  • Recognizing your need for information
  • Knowing the appropriate place to find the information that meets your needs.
  • Searching strategically to find the most relevant information
  • Evaluating the information to ensure you use the best sources
  • Using the information appropriately, giving proper attribution through citations, etc.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) considers information literacy to be a basic human right. In light of this, it should not be surprising that information literacy is one of the essential learning outcomes of SUU.

Information literate people are prepared to use information to solve problems in different situations, such as: 

  • My professor asked us to find peer-reviewed research articles on a topic of choice and write a 5-page paper. Where do I start?
  • I want to buy a house. How do I make sure I'm prepared for this process?
  • It's voting season, and I want to know what each candidate's platform is and which is closest to my priorities and views?
  • Is this fake news or did it really happen?

Information Everyday