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What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to determine a need for information, and then effectively find, retrieve, analyze, use, and communicate appropriate information for the situation at hand.

Skills in information literacy are critical for our students to develop in this Information Age. Regardless of what paths students choose to follow in their lives and careers, they will need to solve problems. Information literate people are better prepared to solve problems because they can quickly and efficiently find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.

The state of Wisconsin has developed its Model Academic Standards for Information and Technology Literacy (1998). This document guides the development of the following Information Literacy Skills under the Infomation and Inquiry content standard:

B. Information and Inquiry

By the end of grade 12, students will

Define the Need for Information Record and Organize Information
Develop Information-Seeking Strategies Interpret and Use Information to Solve the Problem or Answer the Question
Locate and Access Information Sources Communicate the Results of Research and Inquiry in an Appropriate Format
Evaluate and Select Information from a Variety of Print, Nonprint, and Electronic Formats Evaluate the Information Product and Process

B.12.1 Define the Need for Information

*state the information problem or question in clear and concise terms

*relate prior knowledge to the problem or question

*develop specific research questions or a thesis statment based on the nature, purpose, and scope of the project

*conduct a preliminary search to determine if the research questions or thesis statement is clear and searchable; refine and revise if necessary.

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B.12.2 Develop Information-Seeking Strategies

*identify a full range of appropriate and available information from local, national, and global sources

*determine and apply evaluative criteria to prioritizing potential sources

*pursue a variety of resources reflecting differing points of view, cultures, and disciplines

*identify and evaluate keywords, concepts, subject headings, and descriptors for each information source

*organize ideas, concepts, and issues in a manner appropriate to the subject and purpose

*develop a plan to obtain needed information using a variety of research and investigative strategies (e.g. interviews, questionnaires, experiments, surveys)

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B.12.3. Locate and Access Information Sources

* identify the different classification systems used in local school, public, and post-secondary libraries, and resource agencies

*locate information using the classification system and catalog in use at a variety of libraries and resource agencies

*use increasingly organizational features of print and electronic resources such as cumulative and cross-database indexes

*use different search strategies for bibliographic citations, abstracts, and full-text resources in electronic formats

*construct effective electronic and manual searches using keywords, phrases, Boolean logic, and limiters

*determine when to use general or specialized print and electronic reference tools

*compare, evaluate, and select appropriate Internet search engines and directories

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B.12.4 Evaluate and select information froma variety of print, nonprint, and electronic formats

*select information clearly related to the problem or question

*evaluate information for stereotyping, prejudice, and misrepresentation

*distinguish among fact, opinion, point of view, and inference

*determine if sources are authoritative, valid, reliable, accurate, relevant, and comprehensive

*evaluate graphic images for misleading presentation and manipulated data

*determine authorship for all resources and identify points of agreement and disagreement among sources

*select information in formats and genre most appropriate to content

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B.12.5 Record and Organize Information

*use data-gathering strategies that include summarizing, paraphrasing, comparing, and quoting

*follow standardized notetaking processes and compile bibliograhic information in an approved format

*credit sources for all quotations, visuals, major ideas, and specific facts or data using accepted citation formats

*analyze and relate information using a variety of relational techniques (e.g., graphic organizers, database reports, spreadsheet charts, graphs)

*organize information in systematic manner for unity, coherence, clarity, and emphasis

*compile a bibliography in a format stipulated by an accepted manual of style

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B.12.6 Interpret and Use Information to Solve the Problem or Answer the Question

*interpret new information to formulate ideas which address the question or problem using comparison, evaluation, inference, and generalization skills

*synthesize new ideas, evidence, and prior knowledge to address the problem or question

*draw conclusions and support them with credible evidence

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B.12.7 Communicate the Results of Research and Inquiry in an Appropriate Format

*determine the audience and purpose for communicating the information

*compare strengths and weaknesses of possible presentation methods and products

*select the most appropriate format for the product or presentation

*develop a product or presentation that utilizes the strengths of the medium and supports the conclusions drawn in the research effort

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B.12.8 Evaluate the Information Product and Process

*establish criteria to be used in judging both the product (or presentation) and the process

*assess how well the research conclusions and product satisfy the defined information need

*critique the process and identify steps which need further study, skill development, or practice

*evaluate how the research question or problem, search strategy, resources, and interpretation could have been expanded or modified

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