DEFINITIONS

 

 
 Purposes for This Web Page

This web page was designed for PK-12 teaching credential candidates enrolled in the College of Education, San José State University, to make meaning for their own understanding of information literacy, as they proceed to becoming information literate teachers and education specialists. Various institutions from different parts of the world have provided definitions on the concept of information literacy; therefore, we created a table to show the selected definitions and competency standards of information literacy for higher education. To seek meaning in the contexts of teacher education, we have to generate our own understanding about the reasons or significance to introduce our credential candidates to the concepts and practices related to information literacy.

Meaning making is an important exercise as one attempt to become information literate. It is recommended for the users of this page to apply the powerful and productive habits of thinking or habits of mind (http://www.habits-of-mind.net/) in order to generate one’s own meaning. To facilitate this process, we have provided the following meaning making activities.






 
 Meaning Making Activities

Definition is like the goal and tends to be abstract and short. Standards are a set of specific objectives to achieve the goal. With the ever increasing demands for school accountability and student achievement from various educational laws, both at the state and federal levels, such as the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education and Improvement Act of 2004, PK-12 teaching credential candidates need to be informed regularly. These suggested activities were created for those who are interested in making sense in the plethora of information literacy for higher education.

If this is your initial trial, please select any TWO sets of definitions and related standards from the table presented in the section below, “Lists of Definitions and Standards”, to complete any one or all of the following tasks a) and b):

a) Use the guiding questions to facilitate your process of learning and sense-making to formulate your own definition about information literacy. You may either generate your own questions or use the following items:

    • Do you see any definition that is more meaningful to your own ideas about being an information literate teacher or education specialist?
    • Does reading through the scope and sequence of the standards further explain or interpret the underlying factors for one to become information literate in order to tackle the demands as a teacher or education specialist in an information age?
    • What types of habits of mind were most helpful to you as you attempt to making meaning about information literacy?  

b) Make your thinking and ideas visual (see http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/vlintro0602) to further clarify about what you thought you understood about information literacy for higher education, at this initial stage:

    • If you were to explain to others about how you are or will become an information literate teacher or education specialist, how would you graphically illustrate this idea, such as a concept map, flowchart, Venn diagram, etc.?
    • What types of habits of mind were or would be most critical to make your thinking and ideas visual?






 
Lists of Definitions and Standards

Definitions Standards
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), American Library Association (ALA)
Information literacy is 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."

Standard One
The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Standard Two
The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently

Standard Three
The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system

Standard Four
The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose

Standard Five

The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally

Source

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Retrieved on August 3, 2007, from Association of College and Research Libraries Web site http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/
informationliteracycompetency.htm#ildef

Source

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education: Standards, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes. Retrieved on August 3, 2007, from Association of College and Research Libraries Web site http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/
informationliteracycompetency.cfm#stan
National Forum on Information Literacy
 “Information literacy is defined as the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.”

The National Forum on Information Literacy suggests the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) for students to become competent.  Please refer to the above five Standards.

Source

What is information literacy? Retrieved on August 18, 2007, from National Forum on Information Literacy web site http://www.infolit.org/index.html.
 

Source

What is information literacy? Retrieved on August 18, 2007, from National Forum on Information Literacy web site http://www.infolit.org/definitions.html.

Australia and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework

“In the education sector, Information Literacy has been generally defined as an understanding and set of abilities enabling individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”


Standard One
The information literate person recognizes the need for information and determines the nature and extent of the information needed

Standard Two
The information literate person finds needed information effectively and efficiently

Standard Three
The information literate person critically evaluates information and the information seeking process

Standard Four
The information literate person manages information collected or generated

Standard Five
The information literate person applies prior and new information to construct new concepts or create new understandings

Standard Six
The information literate person uses information with understanding and acknowledges cultural, ethical, economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information

Source for both definition and standards
Bundy, A. (2004) Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework. Second Edition. Retrieved August 3, 2007, from Council of Australian University Librarians Web site http://www.caul.edu.au/info-literacy/InfoLiteracyFramework.pdf.

 

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals UK (CILIP)
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 suggests the following understandings that are required to become competent in information literacy:

  • What is the informtion need
  • Where are they available
  • How to find the information
  • When and how to evaluate results
  • How to use the data in results effectively
  • Why and how to be ethical and responsible for  information use
  • How to communicate and share information
  • How to manage your findings 

Source

Information literacy:definition. Retrieved on August 19, 2007 from Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) web site http://www.cilip.org.uk/professionalguidance/
informationliteracy/definition/
.

Source

Information literacy: the skills. Retrieved on August 19, 2007 from Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) web site  http://www.cilip.org.uk/professionalguidance/
informationliteracy/definition/skills.htm
SJSU Martin Luther King Library

 Information literacy is being able to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

“It's increasingly important in today's environment of rapid change and increasingly complex information resources. Information often comes "unfiltered"--raising questions about accuracy and trustworthiness. Information is available in many formats--pictures, sound, and text. This variety presents challenges for people who must evaluate and understand it in order to use it effectively. Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning.”

The Library also suggests that in order for students to become successful in their research, they should be competent in the following performances:

    • 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
    • Access and use information ethically and legally

Source

Information literacy: what is it? Retrieved on August 19, 2007 from SJLibrary.org web site http://www.sjlibrary.
org/services/literacy/info_comp/index.htm

Source

What are the basic information literacy skills? Retrieved on August 19, 2007 from SJLibrary.org web site http://www.sjlibrary.org/services/
literacy/info_comp/infocomp_popup.htm





 
Who Would Benefit From Information Literacy?
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Librarians
  • School personnel including both administrators and staffs
  • School volunteers
  • Pre-service teachers or teaching credential candidates
  • Instructional assistants or paraeducators
  • Various service providers and support staffs
  • Web masters and editors
  • Educational journalists
  • Members in parents’ organizations and support groups
  • A wide range of authors, editors and related personnel
  • Publishers for K-12 textbooks, basal readers, and other books