Information Literacy—What Does It Mean?
The American Library Association says that to be information literate a person needs to be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use the needed information effectively. Put another way, an information literate person is one who knows how to learn what they need to learn. They are prepared to be lifelong learners and can find reliable information with which to conduct their lives.
Why Is It Important?
We live in an information society with an amazing abundance of information available to us. People need to have the training to know how to gain access to the information they need, both personally and professionally. Our schools need to take the lead in equipping students toward this cause. Schools should teach not only how to locate information, but, given the plethora of information available on the Web from both reliable and unreliable sources, should also teach how to discriminate between the good and the bad.
How Will I Encourage It?
In the library at my sixth grade campus, I will teach students and teachers how to use both print and electronic information responsibly. I will demonstrate proper search strategies using the online catalog and databases to which we subscribe. I will also teach them to search the Internet in a way that ensures that they are acquiring accurate information from reliable sources.
Our campus houses many minority and at-risk students. It is a challenge to try to instill in them the desire to be lifelong learners and to try to break generational cycles of poverty and ignorance of information that can improve their situations. I am very cognizant of these factors when I work with them on a daily basis and will continue to look for ways to motivate and educate them so that they can become able seekers and users of knowledge.
How Does It Apply To My Vision?
Being information literate applies to my personal vision in that I desire to see students’ lives changed through information acquisition, sharing, and communication. I desire to teach the skills and processes needed to enable my students to find what is helpful and true on the Internet. I want students to learn to think critically and intelligently and to be well-informed users of knowledge.
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