Why Does Information Literacy Matter?

Caitlin Munn; Josh Seeland; and KC Bateman

Information literacy refers to the ability to find, evaluate, and use information effectively. It means being able to identify what information is trustworthy and relevant to your needs, and then using that information to make informed decisions or complete a task. Being information literate means being able to navigate the vast amount of information available in our world today, and being able to use it to your advantage.

Information literacy is crucial for college students because they are expected to find and analyze information, and communicate their findings effectively in their coursework. By developing strong information literacy skills, college students can:

  • Save time and effort: With so much information available, it’s easy to get lost and waste time searching for the right information. Information literacy helps students quickly identify and locate relevant information, saving them time and effort.
  • Improve the quality of their work: By being able to critically evaluate information sources, students can ensure that the information they use is accurate and reliable, improving the quality of their work.
  • Develop critical thinking skills: Information literacy involves analyzing and synthesizing information from multiple sources. By developing these skills, college students can become better critical thinkers, which is important in both their academic and professional lives.

The information literacy skills you develop as a college student are also beneficial in your everyday life. We are constantly bombarded with information from various sources such as social media, news outlets, and even our friends and family. Being information literate helps us make sense of this information overload and allows us to:


Make informed decisions: With so many choices and decisions to make in our daily lives, being able to access and evaluate reliable information is critical. Information literacy enables us to make informed decisions based on accurate and trustworthy information.

  • Protect ourselves from misinformation: With the rise of fake news and misinformation, it’s more important than ever to be able to critically evaluate the information we encounter. Information literacy helps us distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of information, protecting us from misinformation and its potential negative consequences.
  • Learn new things: Information literacy allows us to access a wide range of information sources, enabling us to learn about new topics and expand our knowledge.
  • Communicate effectively: Being able to understand, interpret, and communicate information effectively is a vital skill in both our personal and professional lives. Information literacy helps us communicate clearly and concisely, avoiding misunderstandings and promoting effective communication.


Overall, information literacy is essential for our everyday lives as it enables us to make informed decisions, protect ourselves from misinformation, learn new things, and communicate effectively.


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College Foundations Copyright © 2022 by Caitlin Munn; Josh Seeland; and KC Bateman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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