The American Library Association (ALA) 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." According to the ALA, an information-literate person can
- determine the extent of information needed;
- access the needed information effectively and efficiently;
- evaluate information and its sources critically;
- incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base;
- use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose;
- understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
ALA also notes that information literacy
- is important in today's world, a world full of information choices;
- is the basis of lifelong learning;
- requires the collaborative efforts of faculty, librarians, and administrators
Information literacy is a term that encompasses the skills of reading and understanding all forms of information, both paper and digital. This term applies to all disciplines and all grade levels. Students should obtain these skills through practice, discovery and collaboration.
Internet literacy and media literacy both fall under the term of information literacy. These skills are instilled in your students by providing guided exploration of different kinds of media in your classroom. Summarizing and clarifying the meaning of the text, graphs, charts and pictures, then predicting or proposing alternate ways to present information will help students critically evaluate media of all formats.