Information Literacy

The concept of information literacy is still very grounded in the work of the library and information professional sector. The definition from CILIP is

The skills that are required to be information literate call for an understanding of:

  • A need for information.
  • The resources available.
  • How to find information.
  • The need to evaluate results.
  • How to work with or exploit results.
  • Ethics and responsibility of use.
  • How to communicate or share your findings.
  • How to manage your findings.

These are basic skills in the information age but I feel we take them for granted and assume that everyone is information literate. The Wikipedia entry for information literacy is comprehensive but views it totally from a US perspective in terms of approaches and resources. In researching the literature for this section I was surprised to find that since a good review of workplace information literacy was published by Christine Susan Bruce in 1999 there has been very little consideration of the corporate issues of information literacy. A particular problem arises with information seeking and this has been highlighted by Reijo Savolainen. We rightly focus on employees who have accessibility issues that need to be addressed and supported but we seem to pay little attention to employees who struggle to manage information effectively.

See also Information Charter, Information Culture, Information Needs, Information Scaffolding

Martin White

October 2016

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