ILG have been working closely with our parent organisation CILIP over the last two years to refresh the Information Literacy definition that was originally devised in 2004. It was recognised that the theory and practice of information literacy has evolved considerably since then, and that the definition needed to reflect these changes.
Following consultation with our members in June 2016, we wanted the new definition to feel relevant to more than just Higher Education, and to be of real value to anyone who uses and handles information, not just to information professionals.
The new definition has four elements, which can be viewed in full in the definition brochure:
- A high level definition, which can easily be quoted – Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society
- Secondary statement – gives supporting information to the definition and explains further what information literacy is
- Contexts – outlines a number of different contexts in which information literacy applies, including: “Information Literacy and Everyday Life”; “Information Literacy and Citizenship”; “Information Literacy and Education”; “Information Literacy and the Workplace”; and “Information Literacy and Health”
- The role of information professionals – this is an important element, especially given the erosion in the role of the professional librarian in school and public libraries in the UK. This section emphasises the role of information professionals in advocating, supporting and enabling information literacy. It also highlights that librarians do not carry out this work in isolation, and that the embedding of information literacy is best conducted in collaboration with other professionals.
A new definition of information literacy – presentation by Jacqueline Geekie, Public Libraries Representative on the CILIP ILG committee. which includes the 2004 IL definition for comparison
We would love to hear what you think about the CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018! Please add your comments below.