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Information literacy guide



These web pages are about Information Literacy. Why it is important and how it will help you throughout your entire life and your studies.

Why is Information Literacy important?

We live in an age of abundant information, and the amount of information is increasing exponentially as the world becomes ever more connected via the Internet and ever more people are producing information. Information is highly synergistic: the more information one has, the more information one can generate.

The current information overload requires people to be information literate. Information Literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use the needed information effectively. To be information literate, the consumer needs to know why, when, and how to use all the available tools and think critically about the information provided. Emphasis is on critical thinking and analyzing the information on offer. Information Literacy is a “set of skills” that can be learned.

This set of skills includes a certain attitude toward learning and doing research itself. Information skills are the most important skill in lifelong learning for an educated worker in the modern information economy, especially scientific workers. During your studies, information skills are necessary to achieve the required level of research competence.

Information has become a vital resource for world economies and is certainly the basic component of any educational and research experience.

What is Information Literacy?

You won't become information literate overnight. Just as with speaking skills and writing skills, your abilities will improve over time as you gain expertise in the topics you choose to investigate and as you practice searching for, selecting, and evaluating the information and ideas you encounter. Information Literacy skills will support effective research.

During the study time, you will learn skills that:

Information Literacy will help you to analyze, evaluate and synthesize ideas from literature so you can make the right decisions at the right moment, to write papers, policy documents, research papers, etc. In addition to improving your existing skills and learning new techniques, it is also important to be able to evaluate and recognize your own skills and information-seeking behavior. This self-awareness will help you to recognize gaps in your skills and to plan your own development.

At the UT we have Information Specialists at each faculty that are here to help you with any questions about Information Literacy and advanced searching.