According to the American Library Association, Information Literacy ...
is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.
However, because the term is often confused with computer literacy, there are many different definitions of information literacy. A comprehensive definition of the term would include:
- in a narrow sense, the practical skills involved in effective use of information technology and information resources, either print or electronic.
- in a broader sense, it is a new liberal art which extends beyond technical skills and is conceived as the critical reflection on the nature of information itself, its technical infrastructure and its social, cultural and even philosophical context and impact.
A full information literacy curriculum would include:
- Tool literacy - The ability to use print and electronic resources including software
- Resource literacy - The ability to understand the form, format, location and access methods of information resources
- Social-structural literacy - Knowledge of how information is socially situated and produced. It includes understanding the scholarly publishing process
- Research literacy - The ability to understand and use information technology tools to carry our research including discipline-related software
- Publishing literacy - The ability to produce a text or multimedia report of the results of research
Quoting the ALA again,
information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them.
INLS501 and INLS509 focus on concepts and techniques for finding and evaluating information, while INLS461 will focus on concepts and the tools needed to communicate your information to users.
We will start from the baseline of the North Carolina high school computer skills requirement and build from there. To that end, in INLS261 we will explore some basic concepts related to personal computer hardware and software and will spend quite a bit of time gaining practical experience with several Internet tools and resources.
We will also introduce concepts and practice skills germane to effective use of the power built into word processing, spreadsheet, relational database management, and presentation graphics software. Although we will use the Microsoft Office 2007 suite of applications for many tasks, the basic concepts should provide you with skills that will enable you to be comfortable with other similar packages
Some of our goals for the semester include:
- Ability to use the Internet effectively
- become familiar with the Internet and its basic tools
- be able to use some basic Unix commands and to understand the file transfer protocol
- become conversant with Open Source - some of its applications, its promise and its limitations
- Ability to create useful Web content
- understand the basic tools underlying the web
- be able to create web pages by using basic HTML, basic CSS, and using HTML editors
- Ability to effectively format written documents
- understand the underlying power of markup languages in document creation software programs
- be able to format documents for publication
- Ability to use spreadsheets
- understand the vector power of functions in spreadsheet applications
- be able to format spreadsheets for professional usages
Learn the basics of a common relational database management system
- understand the power of related tables and the way to create new datasets through queries
- be able to work with MSAccess on a fundamental level
Ability to design and produce effective visual presentations
- understand the power of visual language and design
- be able to design and deliver effective audio/visual presentations
All work done in INLS461 will be done on computers ...
either on your personal laptop or on the desktop units in the SILS lab. There will be no paper products generated in this class and there is no printing requirement.
to Bob Sumner, Kristin Chaffin, Serena Fenton, David West, Dr. Rong Tang, Dr. Lokman Meho and to all the previous instructors of the course. This course is built on all their contributions.
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