Week 6: Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.

Cilip, Information Literacy Definition, Source: http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/advocacy/information-literacy/pages/definition.aspx [Accessed 17/2/2013]

It is one of the key areas of work for the Liaison team. It’s not just a skill for getting through university which is then discarded at graduation. Information Literacy is a lifelong skill for academic, work and everyday life. It starts (or should start) well before a student gets to university and should continue throughout our lives.

Some examples of lifelong IL would include

  • using your your IL skills to assess online offers e.g. are you being ripped off by an online scam? Is the offer too good to be true?
  • A student about to go on a workplacement researching their employer, finding out their journey to the placement and assessing the work culture required e.g. what clothing is suitable for a work placement in an office rather than in a factory
  • Making sure you’ve used copyright free images or lyrics on a party invitation or on your blog
  • Referencing web resources clearly in a project report for your employer
  • Not falling for an internet hoax

The lifelong importance of Information Literacy is shown via Barack Obama’s Presidential Decree

Information Literacy Theory

There are lots of theories on Information Theory which allow us to benchmark our services against other institutions. These are some of the most well known:

SCONUL Seven Pillars

CILIP Definition

American Library Association (ALA) Information Literacy Standards

ACRL Competency standards ACRL is the Association of College and Research Libraries division of the ALA

Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework(ANZILL)

Six Frames for Information Literacy Education

I have put some articles and useful links in the 23things Diigo Group, you can view them here.

Methods of Information Literacy Delivery


Information Literacy is a large area and can be delivered in a variety of ways. For example on YouTube, face to face or online via Moodle.

These are some good examples:

Our new Moodle Area




Cardiff University Information Literacy Resource Bank (I have used some of this in the Moodle area)

Further Reading

This week’s things look at Search Engines Beyond Google  and also Memrise which is a type of Information Literacy tool.

Don’t forget to look at the Cool Extra thing this week – lots of interesting things that Google can do!


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