What is Information Literacy?

The American Library Association defines information literacy as a set of skills which enable individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information". 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
  • 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

Information Literate students at Morgan University:

  • Use the USMAI catalog and RearchPort
  • Analyze and evaluate research sources
  • Understand scholarly vs. non-scholarly publications
  • Develop a search strategies for specific assignments
  • Find specialized resources relevant to the discipline
  • Understand the basics on conducting research (e.g. topic narrowing, using primary sources, citations, etc.)