Sunday, February 22, 2009

Information Literacy, Post #3

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.


  1. Nice use of the word "Plethera."

    Good article. You always have wanted people to think critically and intelligently. I think that is something you have done a good job teaching your children.

  2. You make an excellent point when you write about training and how schools need to make sure they equip students with this cause. I believe teachers need to be equipped with that as well. We should all take it for granted that teachers have the proper training, but let me tell you, in the Junior High, High School level...there are several there that all they really have zeal for is a paycheck.

  3. Thanks, Bec. I appreciate that coming from my daughter :-)

    William, I really hate to admit that you're right about some teachers. Just today a teacher was venting to me about how tired she was of her team leader (!) disappearing too often and leaving his class in the hands of a less-than-competent intern. I don't understand...

  4. I like the American Library Association definition of information literacy, especially the phrase "an information literate person is one who knows how to learn what they need to learn." This is a challenge for educators and cause students to learn how to think critically for themselves. The idea of information literacy takes us down this new road of thinking regarding informating over automating.

  5. Cinda, I'm sure the students/teachers on your campus are grateful to have a great librarian who will help whenever it is wanted/needed. I have been associated with both extremes from the three districts currently and past employed. I agree we have to learn the difference in good and bad information. It is sometimes a challenge to motivate students to learn, but we will all benefit later for doing our job. Great work.

  6. Hi Cinda!! Didn't know you had a blog!!!! very fun! I added you to our blog roll. It was great to see you saturday...just wish it was even we could sit and chat! :)
    Thanks for the website you left for me to look at! It looks amazing...can't wait to read more of it!
    Tell your family hello. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts.