Information literacy


“To be information literate an individual must recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the information needed. Ultimately the information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how information is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them.”

Association of College and Research Libraries, 2000

In practical terms information literacy means being able to:

  • plan a successful search strategy when doing research,
  • find relevant journal articles in print or online,
  • use thesauri or Boolean operators when searching,
  • evaluate Web based information sources,
  • know when to use Google and when to use more specialized information databases,
  • understand the ethical and legal issues involved in information use,
  • use the Library catalogue and other computer catalogues.

The importance of information literacy skills is being increasingly recognised by employers, professional associations, and others both nationally and internationally.
In the UK, SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) has established a seven pillars model for information literacy that can be used to identify information literacy skills and related competencies.

The pillars are:

  • Identify
  • Scope
  • Plan
  • Gather
  • Evaluate
  • Manage
  • Present

Access the full guide here:

SCONUL 7 Pillars Core Model

SCONUL 7 Pillars Core Model

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