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Information Literacy - Presidential Committee on Information Literacy (1989)

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Information Literacy

According to the Presidential Committee on Information Literacy (1989), a person considered to be information literate has the ability to recognize and locate information when needed; the person must also be able to evaluate effectively and use the information. The article stated that people who are information literate understand how information is organized, where to find information and how to use and distribute that information.


Scholarship is the foundation for building knowledge which is communicated and critiqued in any given field. Scholarship is distinguished from other kinds of activities because the activity is exposed to peer review by one's colleagues both academically and professionally. Scholarship should have three main characteristics: it should be public, available for critical review and evaluation, and user friendly for exchange and use by one's peers.

In the classroom students should be able to share their knowledge, be prepared for the knowledge to be evaluated, discussed and accepted or rejected. This is important in information literacy because not only must a student know where to find reliable information one must be willing to let it stand on its own merits but be able to defend the source as viable.

With online classes becoming the norm, students attending classes from various countries around the world is not unusual. According to Lauer and Yodanis (2004) global literacy should be taught in such a way that students ask questions that go beyond the national boundaries and increase information literacy. According to Zabel (2004), often undergraduate students are without the skills necessary to effectively evaluate and use information. The students rely heavily on the Internet as a primary source of information, bypassing or overlooking the library databases and print resources.

Beyond the classroom is the work environment where increasingly organizations are spread across the globe, human resource professionals faced with employee relations issues must be able to research through peer reviewed information such as articles published by other human resource professionals in Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) magazines to access dialog and processes used to administer to a variety of employment and employee issues.


In the workplace information literacy is essential. Knowing where to find information is more important than "knowing" information. In the cable industry the human resource professional must be able to research local, state and federal regulations to keep the company in compliance. The latest regulations and laws are to be up to date at all times and knowing where to find the information and how to make use of the information is important.

In addition to laws and regulation is diversity, in a global environment, not only must the human resource department be information literate but globally literate. According to Lauer and Yodanis (2004), American students are exposed to very little information regarding other countries and their cultures, they are taught primarily about the United States. This makes for global illiteracy where understanding and succeeding in a culturally diverse environment difficult. Being globally diverse in the human resource field means having the skills necessary to research



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