Information Literacy: What Is It, Why Now, and How Can We Teach It?

Information Literacy Is…

"…the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information and is the basis for lifelong learning. …

The five core information literacy competencies are the ability to:

identify needed information.

access information effectively & efficiently.

evaluate information.

use information appropriately.

understand information related issues."

From: Hesburg Libraries, University of Notre Dame (

Current News

The current news is filled with stories relating to information literacy. Three stories in particular highlight two key information literacy issues that librarians can address… 


Information seekers tend to get their news from social media.
News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016 
‚Äč"A majority of Americans now say they get news via social media…"


Some of the more popular news stories come from fake news sites.
This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook
"This new data illustrates the power of fake election news on Facebook…"

Many of us, including upcoming generations, lack the ability to evaulate authority.
Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds
“Some 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website, according to a Stanford University study…

Resources for Teaching Information Literacy