Information literacy and lifelong learning
"In an era of lifelong learning, this effectively means that information literacy has relevance for all ages from primary school to senior citizens. Information literate people understand more than how to find information, they understand its limitations and the need to examine how they use information, and they understand how to manage and communicate information. Information literacy is an essential and discrete dexterity – everyone relies on information everyday." (CILIP, 2009)
The Prague Declaration - "Towards an Information Literate Society" (2003) states that information literacy is a human right of lifelong learning.
Information Literacy encompasses knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning.
Although information literacy has been declared a basic human right there are several assumptions that affect this right:
- information literacy is learnt through osmosis
- information literacy is covered by or is the same as information technology (ICT)
- as technology improves access to information will become easier and therefore negate the need for information literacy
- information literacy is an updated version of library skills and is therefore related to printed sources
- with the emergence of electronic sources and e- literacy and media literacy this negates the need for information literacy.
These assumptions influence ‘practice, including the priority attached to’ information literacy and also ‘constrain acceptance and uptake’ of information literacy skills learning objects / material (Johnston and Anderson, 2005).