Extent of Information Literacy in the Higher Education Scenario: A Comparative Study

Extent of Information Literacy in the Higher Education Scenario: A Comparative Study

Saravanan Parameswaran Pillai (Lekshmipuram College of Arts and Science, India), Prasanth V. S. (Lekshmipuram College of Arts and Science, India) and Siju V. (Sarada Krishna Homoeopathic Medical College, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1482-5.ch008

Abstract

Higher education system has witnessed tremendous changes this decade at a global level due to the invasion of information technology in every aspect. The information centers and information services are no exceptions. The concept of self-learning and acquisition of life-long learning skills are necessary to be information-literate and information-empowered. Day-to-day need of information, competency, and familiarity is using ICT-based information sources, enhancing usage of library resources. Thus, directly or indirectly, information literacy skills or competencies influence the use of library resources. This chapter makes a comparative analysis on information literacy skills possessed by research scholars and their information literacy skills based on the demographic variables. The study revealed a moderate level of information literacy skills among the research scholars, and demographic variables and ICT awareness influences their information literacy skills.
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Information Literacy

The concept of Information literacy (IL) has been formally articulated in the United States in early 1990s. It was due to a result of the tremendous progress in information technology (IT) and its dramatic impact on information accessibility.

Information literacy is the ability of the individual to recognise when information is required and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use the needed information effectively. American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Committee on Information Literacy defines it as, “to be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information”. More comprehensive definition on information literacy is proposed by ACRL framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education 2015, stated that “Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” This definition has clearly pointed out the reflective discovery of information, the skill on evaluating the information, and the ethical issues in information generation or knowledge productivity. Ethical issues in using information with proper acknowledgement are also a typical information literacy skill, which is more important in studying information literacy.

Shapiro and Hughes (1996) defined seven aspects of information literacy as:

In its narrowest sense information literacy includes the practical skills involved in effective use of information technology and information resources, either print or electronic.

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