A relatively new term, information literacy refers to the skill level of a person regarding information; skill in finding the information one needs, usually requiring knowledge of library resources, computer search tools, and research techniques. The term can often be confused with computer literacy; however it is a much more extensive term.
An information literate person can:
- Identify and retrieve information in print form, (books, serials, reference texts)
- Analyze information for its relevance, timeliness, accuracy and suitability of format
- Synthesize the information and present it
Modern library instruction emphasizes search and retrieval techniques as well as evaluation skills such as these.
Extensive standards of Information Literacy have been developed in America (American Library Association), Australia (Australian Library and Information Association) and more recently in the U.K. by British organizations and International bodies.
In Fall 2005, Purdue University announced plans for an endowed chair in information literacy.