Make it stop! I’ve fallen under a pile of information, and I can’t get up! The truth is, without accessible information, where would we be? The problem is, there is just so darn much of it, we can practically drown in it sometimes.
Because we live in what has been coined “the information age” teaching information literacy skills is, to me, one of the most important aspects of being a librarian. But, please don’t leave this mission to librarians alone! Information literacy instruction is, at its best, a collaborative effort across the entire institution. Regardless of the discipline or course of study – art, auto mechanics, nursing, English, math, science, or social science – information and technology skills are essential for surviving in today’s world, perhaps even the “cornerstone of democracy”. An information literate individual is one who can articulate an information need; effectively and efficiently locate relevant information using a variety of sources, tools and contexts; critically evaluate information; and accurately and creatively use information. In addition, the information literate individual needs to be able to adapt to changing technologies. Keeping up can be a challenge! I believe it takes an entire institution to raise an information and technology literate student. In so doing, we help each other keep up, as well. Let’s work together, shall we!
Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand (American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy January 10, 1989, Washington, D.C.).
Jana Lu Williams
Contact Information:Phone: 509-527-4292, Office: 239B email: Jana.Lu.Williams@wwcc.edu