Information Literacy Tops The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2017 Top Trends

Every year The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes a report that identifies top trends facing academic institutions for the year. This year, information literacy made the top of the list. The Association of College and Research Libraries provides the following definition of information literacy: “Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” In choosing information literacy as a top trend, The Chronicle noted the significant role fake news played in the 2016 presidential election. Teaching information literacy skills is one of the best ways to counter the fake news epidemic. Fake news cannot survive the scrutiny of independent research, skepticism, and reason. Moreover, information literacy is an essential component for developing students’ critical thinking abilities which lies at the heart of a liberal education.

The Ames Library maintains a strong Information Literacy Program and information literacy became part of Illinois Wesleyan’s 2014 Strategic Plan. All library faculty partner with departments and programs to offer information literacy instruction. Library faculty also maintain on-call and office hours for students to either drop in, or make an apportionment, to discuss any research or information literacy concerns.

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