What is information literacy?

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Information literacy: A basic human right

By developing your skills of information literacy you will discover and learn more, be more successful in your studies and prepare yourself better for your future career. A keen sense of information literacy will also enable you to be an aware, informed member of society:

The Alexandria Proclamation of 2005 describes information literacy and lifelong learning as the “beacons of the Information Society, illuminating the courses to development, prosperity and freedom. Information literacy empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion in all nations.”

In 2019, UNESCO re affirmed the importance of Media and Information Literacy:

Our brains depend on information to work optimally. The quality of information we engage with largely determines our perceptions, beliefs and attitudes. It could be information from other persons, the media, libraries, archives, museums, publishers, or other information providers including those on the Internet.

People across the world are witnessing a dramatic increase in access to information and communication. While some people are starved for information, others are flooded with print, broadcast and digital content. Media and Information Literacy (MIL) provides answers to the questions that we all ask ourselves at some point. How can we access, search, critically assess, use and contribute content wisely, both online and offline? What are our rights online and offline? What are the ethical issues surrounding the access and use of information? How can we engage with media and ICTs to promote equality, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, peace, freedom of expression and access to information?

Information literacy is your ability to access, search, evaluate, use and create information.

Access – Use the library databases to find expert sources.

Search –  Choose search keywords thoughtfully.

Evaluate – Assess your source information for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose (the CRAAP test).

Use – Construct your argument from expert evidence and data. Paraphrase thoroughly to make your work original. Give credit to your sources, using APA style.

Create – Communicate effectively orally and in writing by answering these questions: What is my purpose? What is my message? Who are my audience?

Information literacy is a skill meaning you can develop and strengthen it through practice and reflection, helping you to succeed in your studies at GIHE and to become an effective life long learner.