Last week we had a great opportunity to meet with Prof. Lisa Hinchliffe and identify the information literacy from one of the experts in this field. She presented a lecture on information literacy in academic libraries.We can defined information literacy as a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information.”
It is observed that a large section of information literacy is about possessing specific information skills in order to search for information and know how to evaluate and use it, and can be extended to the storage of information in a correct way to retrieve them when needed.
These skills can be separated as follows:
- Ability to identify the needed information
- Ability to search
- Ability to retrieve information
- Ability to understand and evaluate information
- Ability to integrate modern data with old data to create a new knowledge.
Prof. Lisa believes that academic libraries in particular have a great chance to raising students’ information skills, especially that many students have already high technological skills, but we can observe that they don’t know how to use electronic resources in library or don’t know how to evaluate information before using them. They think that using of search engines like Google is somewhat easier than using electronic resources in the library. Here comes the role of the librarian in simplifying procedures and raising awareness of the importance of referencing the information resources that are supported in research and studies.
However, the role of raising awareness in information literacy skills isn’t only the responsibility of academic librarians. Organizations like universities, faculty members and community initiatives must be united in raising awareness of information literacy skills.
In general, libraries should take advantage of the UN 2030 agenda in enhancing their role in disseminating correct knowledge in the various fields such as economic, social and other fields. Libraries are essentially related to different areas of life, because libraries are the main source of information and knowledge in societies.
There is no doubt that information literacy is one of the most important areas in which libraries can contribute to society.