Why is information literacy essential to libraries?
The right information to the right person at the right time is the key to success for any organisation. Libraries employ staff with the expertise to locate, retrieve and exploit information in order to:
- enable easy access to information resources in all formats while taking responsibility for its currency and relevance
- identify and acquire the materials of most relevance
- organise those materials in an easily accessible manner
- train staff to access and exploit relevant information resources in the most effective way
- take the lead in raising the levels of information literacy within the organisation
Information literacy skills allow library and information professionals to create, develop and manage a library or information unit which meets the specific information needs of their organisation.
The Prague declaration of 2003 declares that Information Literacy “encompasses knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning.”
The Alexandria proclamation of 2005 on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning proclaims that “Information Literacy lies at the core of lifelong learning. It empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations.”