Skip to main content

Information Literacy

Why Is Information Literacy Important?

Are your students struggling to discern fact from fiction? Are they cynical about all types of information sources? Are you unsure how to help them navigate the overload of information they (and you) face?

Students and faculty at BYU are immersed in a constantly changing information landscape: AI, fake news, and misleading information on social media all contribute to a post-truth world. Information literacy is a discipline dedicated to educating students, faculty, and society on the importance of wisely exploring, using, sharing, and creating information.

This website focuses on information literacy in a BYU context: it provides an academic definition of information literacy and a definition that is “bathed in the light” of the Gospel. Use this website to learn more about information literacy and how to incorporate it in the classroom.

What Is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities and dispositions encompassing the understanding of how information systems function, the reflective discovery of information, and the use of information in sharing and creating new knowledge so as to participate wisely in a variety of settings.

An information literate graduate will display a critical understanding of how information systems function and will wisely and intentionally participate in those systems as they consume, create, and share information to strengthen and serve professional, religious, family, and civic communities.

What is Information Literacy?

Aspects of Information Literacy

  • The process of finding and evaluating sources is the first step in informational literacy. Being able to confidently navigate various databases of research and information to find the best fitting and most appropriate sources is crucial in the informational process.

    When it comes to evaluating, it is important to refer to the concept Authority is Constructed and Contextual from the framework produced by the Association of College and Reserach Libraries (ACRL). This idea centers around the notion that authority can only be valid in certain scenarios, and the establishment and power behind authority is formed by various communities and expertise. Additionally, critically analyzing the context of a source can help to evaluate it. Consider questions such as: What is the information ecosystem of this source? Where did this information come from? Is it widely accepted by various people in the discipline? When was the source published? Is the source from an informal or formal genre? Do other sources have contradicting information?

  • In an educational setting, utilizing sources is most often applied in research-based projects. The genres of these projects can be found in a range of varieties, including inquiry papers, literature reviews, argumentative essays, etc. When incorporating informational literacy practices into the academic sphere, remember that Information has Value. 

    Information that has been shared is protected by intellectual property law and should be treated with *delicacy?* when it comes to citations, as to avoid plagiarism and copyright issues. When utilizing sources in an academic purpose, it is important to recognize Scholarship as Conversation. Research is a sustained discussion of content over an extended period of time; therefore, seeking to understand the conversation from a holistic standpoint can help when incorporating knowledge and sources into projects.

  • Scholarship is Conversation is also a crucial element in creating information. Participating in the conversation includes reviewing past and current information to move the ideas forward. Seeking out diverse perspectives is essential. Diverse perspectives help to continue and elaborate on possible barriers and contributions within the scholarly conversation. **Better transition** Information Creation is a Process, and it happens through actions such as editing, reviewing, and revising. The creation process requires an ongoing attention to create quality information.

  • placeholder text

Library Instruction Sessions

Request that a librarian teach your students information literacy and assignment-related research concepts. Instruction takes place during a class period.