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Fake News and Information Literacy: Information Literacy

Resources to equip students and the general public to identify reliable sources of news and other information.

What is Information Literacy?

Library and Information Literacy graphic

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. 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
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose

How will I use Information Literacy Skills?

To become lifelong learners, we need to know not just how to learn, but how to teach ourselves.  We must acquire the skills necessary to be independent, self-directed learners.  An information literate person should be able to: 

  • Identify information needs and determine the extent of information needed.  Clearly and concisely define the question to be answered, and realize that the question may evolve.
  • Locate and retrieve appropriate sources of information. 
    • Understand the structure of information: how is it produced, disseminated, organized, cataloged, stored, and retrieved, and how these factors vary by discipline.  For example, how do scholars or professionals keep up to date in and contribute to their field.
    • Use indexes and other search tools effectively and efficiently to find specific resources (e.g., select appropriate tools, formulate search strategies, use appropriate search techniques, evaluate results)
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically.
    • Understand different types of sources and formats, and how to use them.
      Evaluate the relevance and reliability of the information retrieved.
  • Synthesize the information retrieved, integrate it into one's current knowledge base, and successfully apply it to the original information need.
  • Present this newly acquired knowledge so that others can use it. 
    • Determine the audience's needs and the best presentation format; know the standards and criteria for presenting information in the relevant subject/field/discipline.
    • Properly cite sources: direct the audience to sources of further information and acknowledge one's sources.‚Äč
  • Translate these abilities and concepts to new projects and disciplines

5 Components of Information Literacy (Seminole State Library)

3 Ways to Spot a Bad Statistic (Ted Talk)