Information Literacy

Several conceptions and definitions of information literacy have become prevalent. One conception defines information literacy in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and actively in that society, for example (Retrieved from ),

Information literacy is the ability to evaluate information across a range of media; recognize when information is needed; locate, synthesize, and use information effectively; and accomplish these functions using technology, communication networks, and electronic resources. [21st Century Skills / NCREL North Central Regional Educational Laboratory]

The American Library Association's (ALA) Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, Final Report states that, "To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (1989).

"Information literacy is defined as the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand" (The National Forum on Information Literacy). [ Retrieved from:]

History of the concept - Information Literacy - Wikipedia

Dimensions of Literacy

According to Saphiro, seven dimensions of literacy can be identified:
  • Tool Literacy
  • Resource Literacy
  • Social-structure Literacy
  • Research literacy
  • Publishing Literacy
  • Technology Literacy
  • Critical Literacy
Saphiro, J.J. (1996). IL as a LA: enlightenment proposals for a new curriculum.
According to NCREL: " To achieve success in the 21st century, students also need to attain proficiency in science, technology, and culture, as well as gain a thorough understanding of information in all its forms." Therefore, Digital-Age Literacy includes the following:

Basic Literacy:Language proficiency (in English) and numeracy at levels necessary to function on the job and in society to achieve one's goals and to develop one's knowledge and potential in this Digital Age.
Scientific Literacy:Knowledge and understanding of the scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.
Economic Literacy:The ability to identify economic problems, alternatives, costs, and benefits; analyze the incentives at work in economic situations; examine the consequences of changes in economic conditions and public policies; collect and organize economic evidence; and weigh costs against benefits.
Technology Literacy:Knowledge about what technology is, how it works, what purposes it can serve, and how it can be used efficiently and effectively to achieve specific goals.
Visual Literacy:The ability to interpret, use, appreciate, and create images and video using both conventional and 21st century media in ways that advance thinking, decision making, communication, and learning.
Information Literacy:The ability to evaluate information across a range of media; recognize when information is needed; locate, synthesize, and use information effectively; and accomplish these functions using technology, communication networks, and electronic resources.
Multicultural Literacy: The ability to understand and appreciate the similarities and differences in the customs, values, and beliefs of one's own culture and the cultures of others.
Global Awareness:The recognition and understanding of interrelationships among international organizations, nation-states, public and private economic entities, sociocultural groups, and individuals across the globe.

Students Who Are Information Literate:
Before Accessing Information
  • Determine what is known and what is needed for problem solving.
  • Identify different sources of information, including text, people, video, audio, and databases.
  • Prioritize sources based on credibility and relevance.
When Accessing Information
  • Identify and retrieve relevant information from sources; use technology to enhance searching.
  • Revise information-gathering strategies that prove to be ineffective.
  • Understand how information retrieved does or does not address original problem.
  • Evaluate information in terms of credibility and social, economic, political, legal, and ethical issues that may impact it; use technology to facilitate evaluation.
After Information Is Extracted
  • Use retrieved information to accomplish a specific purpose.
  • Present information clearly and persuasively using a range of technology tools and media.
  • Evaluate the processes and products of these activities, including resulting social consequences.
[21st century Skills]
Multimodal Literacy - acknowledging new textual media.
Multimodal Literacy: " metacognitive strategies for developing literacy practicies that can be carried accross multiple sites/texts/media, rather then a set of practicies tied to specific sites. (Adler-Kassner)

According to Ben McCorkle, " we are living in what media theorist Jay Bolter has famously termed the late age of print, what literacy scholar Walter Ong calls the era of secondary orality."



The Inquiry and Research Process Model
by The Ontario School Library Association

Research Skills Listed as PYP Transdisciplinary Skills PYPResearchSkills1466.jpg
Formulating Questions
Collecting Data
Recording Data
Organizing Data
Interpreting Data
Presenting Research Finding

Information Literacy Across the IB Programmes ConventionII.jpg

Online Resources on Information Literacy
WiIhelm, Feffrey D. (2004). Inqiring minds use Technology!
Comparision Table of Inquiry / Research Process Models [OSLA]
Ontario School Library Association (1998). Information Studies: Kindergarten to Gr 12
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory - 21st Century Skills
ALA - A Library Advocate's Guide to Building Information Literate Communities
WiIhelm, Feffrey D. (2004). Inqiring minds use Technology!
NCREL - Digital Age Literacy
Information Literacy on the WWW
Shapiro, Jeremy: Information Literacy as a Liberal Art - An article in EDUCOM Review.
Directory of Online Resources for Information Literacy
Information Literacy and Access
ERIC Bibliography about Information Literacy
Online Content resources for Information Literacy
Eisenber, M. B., & Berkowitz, R. E. (n.d.). Big 6 skills overview. Retrieved April 11, 2003, from
UW - Parkside Information Literacy Tutorial. Retreived March 25, 2007