Skip to main content

Information Literacy

information literacy logo

Welcome to our guide on information literacy. If you are a staff member or student at Royal Holloway, you will see what we can offer to you in terms of workshops, advice and support. You will also learn why Information Literacy is an important life skill for your academic work and future career.

So what is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society.
CILIP Information Literacy Group (2018)

Information Literacy is the ability to understand that you have an information need, how to find information to satisfy that need, how to access it, how to assess information once you've found it, how to manage information and how to use it in an ethically appropriate manner. It's not just a skill for getting through university which is then discarded at graduation. Information Literacy is a lifelong skill for academic, work and everyday life. It starts (or should start) well before a student gets to university.

Some examples of lifelong IL would include

  • using your your IL skills to assess online offers e.g. are you being ripped off by an online scam? Is the offer too good to be true?
  • A student about to go on a workplacement researching their employer, finding out their journey to the placement and assessing the work culture required e.g. what clothing is suitable for a work placement in an office rather than in a factory
  • Making sure you've used copyright free images or lyrics on a party invitation or on your blog
  • Referencing web resources clearly in a project report for your employer
  • Not falling for an internet hoax

The lifelong importance of Information Literacy is shown via Barack Obama's Presidential Decree

Information Literacy Video