Information literacy for you as a scholar and lifelong learner

By Fredrick Adika

Information Literacy (IL) is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (Association of College and Research Libraries [ACRL], 2000).

Life-long learning refers to a learning course that endures through life and everywhere in order to adapt to ever-changing conditions in contrast with education and learning skills compressed to a particular period of life.

Lifelong learning refers to learning activities carried out throughout life leading to improvement in knowledge, skills and competences within individual, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective. It is the intentional learning that people engage in throughout their lives, for a personal and professional fulfillment, and to enhance the quality of their lives. (European Commission, 2001)

Its value
Educational systems are expected to raise individuals who are undertaking lifelong learning, and besides the educational system, businesses and industry require lifelong learners, and that the individuals should actualize self-learning to transform the concept of life-long learning into philosophy of life. Lifelong learning helps individuals to deal with changes in areas such as science and technology.

Information literate individuals are people:

  • who know the ways to reach information and use it appropriately by interpreting it
  • who can differentiate between credible sources and junk sources.

The 21st century has been christened the information era, owing to the explosion of information and information sources. As such, it has become increasingly clear that students/scholars need to acquire skills and competencies to be able to:

  • navigate through different sources and establish authenticity and accuracy of the information they require to meet their needs
  • become independent lifelong learners
  • apply their knowledge from the familiar environment to an unfamiliar
  • be productive both in education and business environments.

It is an important educational goal to raise individuals who are able to enact lifelong learning independently in today’s information society. To reach this goal, the indispensable means is information literacy.

Acquiring Information Literacy Skills
It is in evidence that various models should be used, a number of activities should be enacted, and the effectiveness of these should be investigated for the purpose of providing these skills at all educational levels. Faculty play important roles in upbringing individuals who are life-long learners and who improve themselves persistently. Necessitating the use of library resources for assignments is a dominant tool that faculty can use to improve information literacy skills of their students. Adequate preparation of students to be information literate is a concern not only for teaching faculty but also for academic librarians who work with faculty and students.

At USIU-Africa, librarians are instructors and guides in the process of IL literacy acquisitions. Every semester we have librarians:

  • visiting classes to teach various aspects of IL
  • teaching groups or individual students face to face, over the telephone, via Zoom, helping them to become IL literate and consequently lifelong learners.

Every semester we have a schedule of training sessions going round for individuals to register and attend. The areas covered include:

  • Cisco VPN Installation
  • Online catalogue, database searching and retrieval
  • Citation and referencing
  • Copyright Ethics in the eLearning environment
  • Scholars Hangout
  • Evaluation of Information Resources

To get register and attend this Fall, please click on this link.

Social Media