Being Information Literate
According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), being information literate means having a “set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.” In today’s Digital Information Age, where “Googling” has become commonplace, the notion of being information literate has grown in importance. ACRL, for instance, points to author David Shenk’s ideas about “data smog,” where “too much information can create a barrier in our lives. This data smog is produced by the amount of information, the speed at which it comes to us from all directions, the need to make fast decisions, and the feeling of anxiety that we are making decisions without having ALL the information that is available or that we need.” In short, students who become information literate learn how to deal with all the data smog that is too readily and easily accessible through search engines.
The University of Idaho offeres another great resource to help you understand information literacy and gauge your level of information literacy.
Wired Magazine, a popular magazine focused on science, technology, entertainment and culture, also featured an article on information literacy that may interest you - Clive Thompson on New Literacy.
The team at Project Information Literacy has also created some great videos about information literacy and the college experience today. These are ongoing studies and new videos are added periodically. And while they tend to focus on a more 'traditional' student population they still have good information for everyone.