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Information Literacy: Skills For Life

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovation in Curriculum Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.763.1 - 10.763.10



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Paper Authors

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Louise Green

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Barbara Quintiliano

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Andrea Welker

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Information Literacy: Skills for Life

Andrea L. Welker, Barbara Quintiliano, and Louise Green

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Villanova University/Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova Univerisity/ Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova Univerisity

Introduction The amount of information available to our students is increasing rapidly every day and they can be easily overwhelmed with the variety and complexity of it. In addition, because they are so adept at using computers, many students over-estimate their abilities to search for, organize, and utilize information. These students believe that they already have the ability to sift out false information; that they are experts at searching the Web; and that the large numbers of people that use the Web will make detection of falsehoods more likely (Thompson 2003, Profeta and Kendrick 2002, Davis Herring 2001, Calvert 1999, and Tolppanen 1999). Manuel (2002) reports that 28% of freshman at California State University agreed that a “central internet authority reviewed all Web information for its accuracy.” Furthermore, many students also have the mistaken belief that the Web will provide all the information they may need in the course of their college career. Investigating their college library’s resources, whether print or electronic, never occurs to them. To them, it’s all on the Web, it’s all worthwhile, and it’s all free.

These findings indicate that students require training to become “information literate”. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) (2000) defines an information literate person as someone who can: Determine the extent of information needed Access the needed information effectively and efficiently Evaluate information and its sources critically Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

Information literacy is a broad skill that is applicable to any discipline, any career, and in anyone’s life. The American Association of School Librarians and Association for Educational Communications and Technology (1998) note that “‘information literacy’—the ability to find and use information— is the keystone of lifelong learning.” Likewise, The American Library Association (1989) states that “ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn”. Students that have acquired this skill will be more confident learners because they will be able to find and use the information they need to solve novel problems. In addition, these

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Green, L., & Quintiliano, B., & Welker, A. (2005, June), Information Literacy: Skills For Life Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14148

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