It is not uncommon to think of information literacy as the fusion or integration of library literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, technological literacy, critical thinking, ethics, and communication skills (Work Group on Information Competence, 1995). The Information Competency Standards for Higher Education, produced by the Association of College and Research Libraries, notes that information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning, is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content, become self-directed learners, and assume greater control over their own learning.
An information-literate individual is able to
• Determine the extent of information needed
• Access the needed information effectively and efficiently • Evaluate information and its sources critically
• Incorporate selected information into his or her 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 What does a person need to know today to be a full-fledged, competent and literate member of the information society? As we witness not only the saturation of our daily lives with information organized and transmitted via information technology, but the way in which public issues and social life increasingly are affected by information-technology issues - from intellectual property to privacy and the structure of work to entertainment, art and fantasy life - the issue of what it means to be information-literate becomes more acute for our whole society. Should everyone take a course in creating a Web page, computer programming, TCP/IP protocols or multimedia authoring? Or are we looking at a broader and deeper challenge - to rethink our entire educational curriculum in terms of information? In responding to...