Our ability to find information on any give topic these days is immeasurable. The ability to avoid exposure to information is non-existent. We live in a world of TMI, TMC and TLT (too much information, too many choices and too little time). The White House itself makes use of many web 2.0 methods for communication including Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, and the White House blog. And that’s just one aspect of one branch of one level of our government.
The only way to manage this avalanche cum tsunami of information is through understanding how and why information is produced, accessing it efficiently and habitually culling, evaluating, and using effectively the information we find. This is Information Literacy.
The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Association of School Librarians (as well as many other educational associations) have established definitions of an information literate person and best practices for educating students in IL from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. Since Information Literacy is one of our most important life-long skills in all facets of our lives, both public and private, these endeavors emphasize teaching students to think critically about the issues and to renew continuously their skills. The staff of Doherty Library, particularly the Information Literacy Librarian, the Public Services Librarian and the Electronic Resources Librarian, work very hard to develop in the UST student body the proficiencies they need.
October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month. One definite aspect of Information Literacy is knowing how to navigate the web and use its tools safely.