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ILG launch new CILIP Information Literacy definition

CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018The CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG) committee are delighted to have officially launched the new CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018 on Friday, April 6th at LILAC 2018 in Liverpool.

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.

Read the CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018 (pdf)  (Word version)

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.

10 thoughts on “ILG launch new CILIP Information Literacy definition”

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  7. Hi, I am on the NetIKX Management Committee,

    We are planning to run a seminar on Information Literacy in May 2019. It would be brilliant if someone from your the Cilip IL Group would be able to be a guest speaker. Our website will give you an idea of the sorts of stuff we cover.
    Please get in touch via my details below. Many thanks. Best wishes. Melanie

    1. Dan Pullinger

      Hi, Melanie.

      Thanks for getting in touch with us about this. I’ve forwarded your message to the CILIP Information Literacy Group committee ( and you should hear from them shortly.

      Best wishes,

      Dan Pullinger
      Website Manager
      CILIP Information Literacy Group

  8. Aminu Aliyu

    I am presently writing my MLIS thesis on the assessment of information literacy skills on the use of academic library electronic information resources. I would be glad if I can get some resources and a guide on my research. Thanks.

    1. Dan Pullinger

      Hi, Aminu.

      Apologies for the delay in replying. Firstly, I would encourage you to explore some of the resources available on this website, including under the “Researching” heading. Also, if you have specific questions you would like to ask of the information literacy community, I would recommend that you post a messsage on the JISC LISinfolit mailing list ( – this should help you reach a large audience or practitioners and researchers.

      Good luck with your thesis!

      Best wishes,

      Website Manager

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