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Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

You can read the information literacy rubric on this page. It tells you what we expect you to be able to do.

Read the transcript for this presentation below.

What’s all this talk about information literacy?

You may have heard your instructors talking about something called information literacy. You’re probably wondering what the heck it is, and why it’s important. The Association of College and Research Libraries defines information literacy as “a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information.”

But what does that mean?

Here’s the deal. Information is all around you. It comes from print and broadcast media, social media, computers, talking with your friends, and myriad other ways. It’s fast and furious and it’s not going to stop or slow down anytime soon. Sometimes it’s downright overwhelming. You’re not alone in feeling that way!

To be information literate, you need to know what information is, how to find it, and how to use it. That sounds simple, but it’s not. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) Part of the problem with the amount of information that’s constantly bombarding us is that it’s not always true. Anyone can put anything on the internet. You need to develop your sleuthing skills to figure out what’s good and what’s not.

You’ll need to be information literate if you want to succeed in your classes here at OJC. For one thing, information literacy has been targeted as one of the Institutional Learning Outcomes. That means you will need to prove you’re competent in it before you graduate.

It’s not just a matter of being able to write research papers. Being information literate as you work your way through life is important. Most jobs will require it. Plus, it’s part of being a good and knowledgeable citizen. Go ahead and groan. I’m expecting it.

You can read the information literacy rubric on this page. It tells you what we expect you to be able to do. These are the skills that will be assessed:

  1. Evaluating information and its sources;
  2. Synthesizing main ideas to construct new concepts;
  3. Documenting references properly;
  4. Avoiding plagiarism.

Don’t panic! Remember there are people here to help you! Your instructors, library staff, Student Success Center, TRIO… We’re all ready and waiting—but you have to ask the questions! Otherwise it’s a little hard to answer them!