Explaining information literacy


There have been at least two instances in the last week when I’ve been asked to explain what information literacy is and why it matters to people completely outside the education and library world. One such incident this weekend when talking to a friend who was a media and communications specialist really struck me. We really do need marketing professionals in the library world. And I need to work on my pitch.I read a US blog by Howard Rheingold which pitches infolit as “crap detection” which certainly is part of it. Apparently the term was coined by Ernest Hemingway back in 1954! But perhaps “crap detection” is not the way to try and sell it later this week to a university committee. It’s really hard to describe something you think about a lot in some detail in a really simple and clear way. I want a 1 minute pitch for what information literacy is and why it matters for the person in the street! And then a 5 minute pitch for academic staff. Ideas on a postcard please! Or come along to the second meet up of the London Libraries Learning Research Reading group tonight.


One thought on “Explaining information literacy

  1. Information literacy is the set of abilities to find and evaluate information, to interpret, absorb and apply information, and to create and communicate information. These skills are increasingly complex because information comes in a growing variety forms and flows through a growing number of channels, be they text, digital, audio, or video. More and more, people are expected to have these skills, even though they are only tangentially part of the school curriculum at best. These skills are vitally important because they form the foundation of independent lifelong learning. The key to success in the world of tomorrow is to be able to build your knowledge and skill set today, on your own.

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