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 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.
Source: Association of College & Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.
Information Literacy and the Web
Websites, blogs, social networking sites- the web has grown and continues to add content.
The difference between web resources and paper publications:
Materials in academic libraries have gone through several evaluations before they are added to the library’s collection. This includes paper as well as academic electronic databases.
Here are the basic steps for academic publications:
1. The author gets feedback from peers on his/her research proposal.
3. The author works with the publisher, through many edits, citation checks and reference checks (fact checking).
4. Librarians may read reviews or recommendations by other librarians before purchasing the material.
5. Librarians evaluate the need for the new material and the quality of the new material using all of the criteria listed in this guide. Librarians do this daily with all information they encounter.
There is no evaluation process for web postings. The web is a self-publishing media. The good, the bad and the ugly all reside on the web and show up in searches. Quality of information, author credibility, and fact checking all vary from high quality down to the lowest extreme.
Caveat lector: Let the reader beware!
You have to learn to evaluate what you read on the web. Apply critical thinking skills and question everything on the web. This library guide gives you some evaluation tools to use when searching for and using information on the web.
Criteria to use:
I. Content Coverage (Scope)
II. Currency (Timeliness)
III. Reliability (Authorship)