Why is Information Literacy Important?

The definition of an information literate person extends beyond school and application to academic problems--such as writing a research paper--and reaches right into the workplace. Information literacy is also important to effective and enlightened citizenry, and has implications that can impact the lives of many people around the globe.

The ability to use information technologies effectively to find and manage information, and the ability to critically evaluate and ethically apply that information to solve a problem are some of the hallmarks of an information literate individual. Other characteristics of an information literate individual include the spirit of inquiry and perseverance to find out what is necessary to get the job done.

We live in the Information Age, and "information" is increasing at a rapid pace. We have the Internet, television, radio, and other information resources available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, just because so much  information is so easily and quickly available does not mean that all of it is worthwhile or even true. 

Because of resources like the Internet, finding high-quality information is now harder than ever, not easier!  Finding the good stuff is not always quick!  And the good stuff does not always come cheaply, either! (In short, to make it in today's Information Age, you have to be even smarter--not dumber--than your typewriter-schlepping predecessors!)

To make matters worse, just because you know how to use a particular information technology today does not mean that there is not another one right behind it that you will have to learn how to use tomorrow! Once seemingly exotic technologies like "word processing" and "electronic mail" are now commonplace, but at one time, they were amazing and revolutionary. (To some of us, they still are).

Today's employers are looking for people who understand and can adapt to the characteristics of the Information Age. If a student has "learned how to learn," upon graduation, they are a much more attractive job candidate. An information literate individual--with their strong analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills--can be expected to be an adaptable, capable and valuable  employee, with much to contribute. 


Click on the other buttons below for more information:





Last Updated 2/11

Send comments to Jordana Shane