What is information lit?

Emerald: Article Request:
Purpose –
To demonstrate existing definitional consensus on information literacy, and outline the main and unique areas of concern resulting from that consensus for libraries desiring to contribute to information literacy education.
Design/methodology/approach –
Leading attempts at defining information literacy are examined to demonstrate their lack of substantive definitional differences, and to establish parameters for the library’s participation in information literacy education.
Findings –
Examines the leading definitional contributions since the American Library Association’s 1989 seminal work on information literacy. Demonstrates the lack of substantive definitional differences between those and the ALA definition. Suggests librarians concentrate on the expectations deriving from such unanimity, and outlines those expectations.
Practical implications –
Clarity of definitions provides more stable atmosphere for practical initiatives, while controversies over definitions distract from action. By pointing out the fundamental agreements between seemingly competing definitions of information literacy, this article underscores the need for librarians to fully concentrate on ways to achieve information literacy. By specifying the library’s unique place in that process and outlining the concrete things it can do, the article also provides practical guidance for more focused activity on the part of the library in information literacy education.
Originality/value –
This article demonstrates a consistently overlooked definitional consensus on information literacy, and shows how the purported differences in definition actually represent delineations of steps and approaches that facilitate practical implementation. It also outlines the specific areas and activities that are legitimate responsibilities of the library in information literacy education, and notes areas outside..."

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