Skill in finding the information one needs, including an understanding of how libraries are organized, familiarity with the resources they provide (including information format s and automated search tools), and knowledge of commonly used research techniques.
Information literacy skills are skills you will need through your life. We are always seeking information. . . . Information helps us reach conclusions, make our choices, and communicate more effectively. But the good stuff is often buried in heaps of junk. We need to continue to improve our searching, evaluating and communication skills in a changing information environment.
Remember computer literacy is not information literacy. For a comparison, read this article .
The information explosion has provided countless opportunities for students and has dramatically altered the knowledge and abilities they will need to live productively in the twenty-first century. Students must become skillful consumers and producers of information in a range of sources and formats to thrive personally and economically in the communication age.
American Association of School Librarians and Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning . Chicago: American Library Association, 1998.
also known as information competence or information competency is a set of skills that helps students sift through the mass of information now available to them in order to locate and retrieve what is relevant and reliable for their research needs.
Simply put, an information literate student understands how to find , retrieve , analyze , and use information effectively. 
Teaching Information Literacy at Pasadena City College
The use of the term “information literacies” emphasizes the complexity and multiplicity of skills and strategies involved in finding and using information.
Dianne Oberg : “ Promoting Information Literacies: A Focus on Inquiry .” 70th IFLA General Conference and Council, 22-27 August 2004, Buenos Aires, Argentina http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla70/papers/088e-Oberg.pdf
September 26, 2009 Information Literacy Dr. Dianne Oberg
A related term often used outside library media circles
We learn best when we are at the center of our own learning. Inquiry-based learning is a learning process through questions generated from the interests, curiosities, and perspectives/experiences of the learner. When investigations grow from our own questions, curiosities, and experiences, learning is an organic and motivating process that is intrinsically enjoyable.
September 26, 2009 Information Literacy Inquiry-based learning
Project-based learning, problem-based learning, and inquiry-based learning all three closely relate to the information processing approach. They all fit well with technology-rich learning environments where the focus is not on the hardware and software, but on the learning experience.
Project, Problem, and Inquiry-based Learning http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic43.htm
Resource-based learning actively involves students, teachers and teacher-librarians in the effective use of a wide range of print, non print and human resources . . . Students who use a wide range of resources in various mediums for learning have the opportunity to approach a theme, issue or topic of study in ways which allow for a range of learning styles and access to the theme or topic via cognitive or affective appeals. More
Lifelong learning is the process of acquiring and expanding knowledge, skills, and dispositions throughout your life to foster well-being. It isn't about taking an adult pottery class or reading a nonfiction book occasionally. It's about the decisions you make and the problems you solve in everyday life. From enrolling in an structured, formal education program to considering whether to believe an infomercial's gimmick, lifelong learning takes many forms.
21st Century Literacies refer to the skills needed to flourish in today's society and in the future. Today discrete disciplines have emerged around information , media , multicultural , and visual literacies. It is the combination of literacies that can better help K-12 students and adult learners address and solve the issues that confront them.
September 26, 2009 Information Literacy
Partnership for 21 st Century Skills September 26, 2009 Information Literacy
Through: connections, actions and evidence-based practice centering on a shared philosophy and process of inquiry learning
To: making a real difference to student learning outcomes
September 26, 2009 Information Literacy Developing knowledge and understanding A thinking community From Ross Todd’s PPT School Libraries as Knowledge Spaces: Connections and Actions; Outcomes and Evidence
Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries (2004)
Students appear to indicate that the school library – not as a passive supply agency, but as an instructional agency – helps them substantially in their learning.
What is clearly perceived to be of help is the library ’ s part in engaging students in an active process of building their own understanding and knowledge – the library as an agency for active learning.
Review of the Findings Powerpoint presentation.
Researchers: Dr. Ross Todd and Dr. Carol Kuhlthau , Rutgers
What Research Tells Us About the Importance of School Libraries
At this point . . . there is a clear consensus in the results now  available for eight states*: School libraries are a powerful force in the lives of America's children. The school library is one of the few factors whose contribution to academic achievement has been documented empirically, and it is a contribution that cannot be explained away by other powerful influences on student performance.
White House Conference on School Libraries
*Now 15 states—see
September 26, 2009 Information Literacy Actually, 19 states with Indiana 2007
The stream of information from TV channels, Internet, CD-ROMs, computer programmes etc. is unending. If the students, when they become adult citizens, are not to feel lost and helpless in the face of such rich sources of information, they must learn [to] devise personal strategies for information retrieval while they are still at school. Information Literacy and “strategies for independent learning skill development” are key components of any school library.
From a White Paper by Gert Larsen, School Library Advisor, Albertslund, Denmark, p. 7
Part of Project GrandSlam - General Research and New Development in School Libraries As Multimedia Learning Centres (see project website http://www.gslam.net )
Competence and comfort with information and information sources
Information literacy is the solution to Data Smog . It allows us to cope by giving us the skills to know when we need information and where to locate it effectively and efficiently. It includes the technological skills needed to use the modern library as a gateway to information. It enables us to analyze and evaluate the information we find, thus giving us confidence in using that information to make a decision or create a product.
Introduction to Information Literacy , Association for College and Research Libraries (a division of the American Library Association)