Information literacy is commonly defined as "the ability to locate, evaluate, and efficiently use information" and is comprised of several components:
Students have to be able navigate the libraries and our print and electronic information resources; they need to be able to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information to come to conclusions; and they need to be familiar with computers and computer applications not only to find and retrieve information but also to communicate their findings.
Lifelong learning is also encouraged through the promotion of information literacy. Students develop an appreciation of how these skills will assist them in their future coursework and careers, along with developing an understanding of the impact information has on society and their lives.
Faculty and their college librarian/liaison can work together to provide opportunities for students to learn these skills. For example, librarians can assist with modifying assignments to incorporate research and the analysis of information. Class time can then be set aside for the librarian, faculty member, and students to explore appropriate research strategies and critical thinking issues.
At present there is no information literacy requirement here at Virginia Tech. To be sure that your students have the necessary skills to survive in this age of information overload, please contact your librarian to discuss integrating information literacy skills into your course curriculum.