KCC Library Contributed Article
By Sarah S. Uthoff – Reference Librarian
November is National Information Literacy Awareness Month. Information literacy means being able to find, evaluate for quality, and use information that you need. Here at Kirkwood Library Services we help students and faculty with information literacy every day, but we’re glad that this official month focuses attention on the importance of being able to handle information well.
Why is information literacy and evaluation important? More people than ever are pumping out bad information. Some of it will be deliberately bad or trying to manipulate your opinion, others are things put up as jokes or based on uninformed opinions or even just things that are now out of date. The library provides information literacy lessons to help you identify good information. That isn’t only for school. Things like finding information about a car before you buy it, also counts as information literacy. It’s anything where you are trying to weed out bad information from the good.
Our librarians teach information literacy skills to classes and one on one. We provide access to databases where people have already pre-screened the articles for good data. We help match people with books and articles they need. We provide handouts and videos about how to recognize good sources and understand citing them. The library even provides Credo Instruct which gives instructors units that they can drop in their Talon pages about research and information literacy.
Since 2009, this month long event has reminded people to think. Kirkwood Library Services has been promoting it in different ways over the years. We had displays and a contest, but our tried and true staple is blog posts offering information on things like:
• Asking Good Questions
• Have a Plan for an Online Afterlife
• Online Activities and Job Hunting
• Making Strong Passwords
• Protecting Your Privacy
• Private Browsing Online
• Use Social Media
• Tracking Down a Study
This year we’ve already got posts ready to go on the best way to create a password, the importance of realizing what you share online can haunt you later, and system bias. Take a look https://kirkwoodlibrary.wordpress.com