Information Literacy


Information Literacy

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UpdatedJanuary 1, 1970
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The phrase information literacy first appeared in print in a 1974 report by Paul G. Zurkowski, written on behalf of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Zurkowski used the phrase to describe the “techniques and skills” known by the information literate “for utilizing the wide range of information tools as well as primary sources in molding information solutions to their problems”.

The Presidential Committee on Information Literacy released a report on January 10, 1989, outlining the importance of information literacy, opportunities to develop information literacy and an Information Age School. The report’s final name is the Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report.

The recommendations of the Presidential Committee led to the creation later that year of the National Forum on Information Literacy, a coalition of more than 90 national and international organizations.

In 1998, the American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology published Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, which further established specific goals for information literacy education, defining some nine standards in the categories of “information literacy”, “independent learning”, and “social responsibility”.

Also in 1998, the Presidential Committee on Information Literacy produced an update on its Final Report. This update outlined the six main recommendations of the original report, examining areas where it made progress and areas that still needed work. The updated report advocates for further information literacy advocacy and reiterates its importance.

In 1999, SCONUL, the Society of College, National and University Libraries in the UK, published “The Seven Pillars of Information Literacy” model, to “facilitate further development of ideas amongst practitioners in the field … stimulate debate about the ideas and about how those ideas might be used by library and other staff in higher education concerned with the development of students’ skills.”A number of other countries have developed information literacy standards since then.

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