America's Answer to Misinformation

Knowing how to find, evaluate, and use effectively information from a variety of media and information resources are essential 21st century competencies every American needs to know to ensure academic, professional, personal, and healthcare success.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sept. 30, 2013 - PRLog -- October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month. In 2009, President Obama issued the first presidential proclamation, acknowledging the critical importance of information literacy to the educational, social, and economic welfare of the American people.

Information literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information and be able to identify, locate, evaluate, synthesize, and effectively use that information for resolving the issue or problem at hand.

Contrary to popular perspective, information literacy and digital literacy are not necessarily interchangeable skill sets.  You can teach information literacy without the use of information and communication technologies.  The same cannot be said for digital literacy.

In recognition of this seminal event, the National Forum on Information Literacy is promoting a national public policy initiative to secure a gubernatorial information literacy proclamation from each of our 50 states and U.S. territories.  Dr. Sharon Weiner, Vice President of the National Forum on Information Literacy and Professor of Library Science/W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy at Purdue University Libraries, is leading this very exciting initiative. Often ceremonial by nature, proclamations are also very reflective of critical public policy issues as well.

So far, 22 states and one U.S. territory (, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, have issued gubernatorial information literacy proclamations defining the relationship of information literacy to the educational and workforce needs of the citizens within their states and territory. Even the city of Anchorage, Alaska has issued an information literacy proclamation, the first in the United States to do so.

A 2012 study published by the National Research Council, Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century, classified information literacy as “crystallized intelligence,” one of the critical, human resource competencies needed by Americans to thrive and compete in a dynamic global economy.

Information literacy is a proven, strategic pathway that builds individual competence in the management of information resources critical for making life decisions that are at the heart of academic, personal, and professional success.

The National Forum on Information Literacy encourages all Americans during the month of October to begin the process of cultivating an information literacy perspective.  Ask yourself – where does the information come from, who produced it, and what does it really mean to my overall well-being.

Before leaping into decision making mode, validate the content of your information sources. Use a “measure twice, cut once” mentality in assessing information and its relationship to your academic, professional, personal, and healthcare needs.  Misinformation is in great abundance these days, with social media often serving as one of its prime instigators – so beware!

Established in 1989, the National Forum on Information Literacy ( (NFIL) has evolved into one of the pre-eminent advocacy, non-profit organizations dedicated to mainstreaming information and digital literacy practice at home and abroad.

As we move further into the 21st century, information literacy will become the standard-bearer for academic achievement, workforce productivity, healthcare access, competitive advantage, and national security.

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Tags:Information Literacy, Skills, Workforce, Education, Healthcare
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