Information Literacy

 Information Literacy is defined as:


  “knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and

how to evaluate it, use and communicate it in an ethical manner”


Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals definition



It involves several skills and competences. These are an understanding of:

  • a need for information
  • the resources available
  • how to find information
  • the need to evaluate results
  • how to work with or exploit results
  • ethics and responsibility of use
  • how to communicate or share your findings
  • how to manage your findings.


The skills and competencies are stages in the process of undertaking an information task in personal, social, vocational, educational or occupational contexts. They are used sequentially and repeatedly in every type of context. They encompass the components of problem solving: critical thinking; planning and organising; and reviewing and evaluating. Each skill or competence can also be a major focus of activity on its own.


It encompasses all media types and formats – electronic, people and printed information sources.


Attainment levels range from:

  • learning and using individual information skills with assistance


  • using some information skills to perform a simple information task with assistance if required


  • efficiently and effectively undertaking a significant piece of research.

These levels are a graduation / progression in the development of Information Literacy skills from early learner / novice to expert.


Iterative Process 

It is however important to note that whilst most models and frameworks list the required skills and competencies in a linear fashion, the process is iterative. In practice information searches are often circular rather than linear with the search cycle being completed and/or restarted several times using different keywords, Boolean terms and/or information sources in the search for relevant information.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *