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Cultural Awareness: Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

The American Library Association defines "information literacy" as "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: Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education).

Information Literacy and Higher Education:

As stated in the CAUL Information literacy standards: "Developing lifelong learners is central to the mission of higher and other educational institutions, and is increasingly reflected in descriptions of graduate qualities. Information literacy extends learning beyond formal classroom settings and supports individuals in self directed learning in all arenas of life."

Secondary Education:

W.A. School Curriculum and Standards Authority website, Curriculum Framework Overarching Statement: "The need for students to develop effective Information Literacy skills has become of increasing importance with the explosion of information in the Internet age." The Curriculum Framework (1998) sets Information Literacy as one of the Overarching Learning Outcomes: Students recognise when and what information is needed, locate and obtain it from a range of sources and evaluate, use and share it with others (Overarching Outcome 3, Curriculum Framework, p. 21).  

Students demonstrate information literacy skills when they:

    * frame and clarify questions
    * locate and collect information from a range of sources
    * organise the information and represent it in ways suited both to the type of information
       and to their purposes
    * analyse and interpret information, judge its quality and decide what conclusions or
       inferences might reasonably be drawn from it
    * use and share the information with others


Bundy, A. (Ed.). (2004). Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework : Principles, standards and practice (2nd ed.). Adelaide, Australia: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy.

Council of Australian University Librarians. (2001). Information literacy standards. Retrieved from

Western Australia. Curriculum Council. (1998). Curriculum framework for kindergarten to year 12 education in Western Australia . Retrieved from

Research Skill Development (RSD): University of Adelaide

Research Skill Development (RSD) : This site is home to a community of practices that uses one conceptual framework to create discipline-based and interdisciplinary approaches and resources that explicity, incrementally and coherently develop students' and academics' research skills.

Research Skill Development Explanation page provides an outline of the project:

In the RSD, there are six facets of the research process, identified from the literature and modified according to Bloom’s taxonomy and our experiences of using the framework in the disciplines. These are that students:

  • embark on inquiry and so determine a need for knowledge/understanding.
  • find/generate needed information/data using appropriate methodology.
  • critically evaluate information/data and the process to find/generate this information/data.
  • organise information collected/generated.
  • synthesise and analyse and apply new knowledge.
  • communicate knowledge and the processes used to generate it, with an awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues.


Edith Cowan University acknowledges and respects the Nyoongar people, who are the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand and its programs operate.
In particular ECU pays its respects to the Elders, past and present, of the Nyoongar people, and embrace their culture, wisdom and knowledge.