What is Information Literacy

Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis, ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est
(To know where you can find anything, that in short is the largest part of learning)
-Anonymous.

The Association of College and Research Libraries defines information literacy as a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (ACRL, 2000). The Leddy Library would like to emphasize the importance of critical thinking skills to information literacy. An information literate individual has the ability to reflect critically upon and evaluate their own research strategies, the tools used, the resources found and the context in which the resources were produced.

That may sound like a lot to develop but we actually use information literacy skills every day to complete tasks like going to a movie or ordering a pizza. We know that to attend a movie we must decide what we want to see. We need to find out where and at what time the movie is playing and what the movie will cost. To fulfill our information need we check the movie listings in a newspaper or on a website. Or perhaps we call the movie theatre.

In a university setting, such as here at the University of Windsor, you will be confronted with more challenging research which will require enhancing current information literacy skills. But basically to be information literate is to be a lifelong learner. To be information literate is to be curious and aware about scholarship, research and the world around us.

Here at the Leddy Library we provide many services and tools that are designed to enhance the information literacy skills of students. Our pedagogical approach is based upon the Leddy Library Information Literacy Policy and the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education [PDF].

For more information on information literacy or the role that the Leddy Library is playing to encourage students to develop these skills, please contact Tamsin Bolton Bacon, Information Literacy Librarian.

"Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand."
-American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report.