Digital Information Literacy
Society has been transformed by the rapid development by the diffusion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the fields such as Education, Business, Health, Agriculture, and so on. Information users may be bewildered by a variety of digitalized information. The process of identifying and selecting information has become complex. It is critical to promote Information Literacy (IL) in the digital age. Now computers have become a necessary part of the digital society and skills for computer use are a common prerequisite on many job applications. The Department of Education, Training, and Employment (2001) Information literacy has become a global issue and many Information Literacy initiatives are being documented throughout the world. Information Literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning and self-learning. It is common to all disciplines to all learning environments and to all level of education.
Information Literacy is a term used to describe a set of skills that enable individuals to seek, find, utilize and cite high-quality information quickly and efficiently. Information seeking is a process in which humans engage in order to advance and potentially alter their state of knowledge. It is also an important cognitive function related to learning and problem solving, technique.
Association of College and Research Libraries (2000), define Information Literacy as “a set of abilities requiring individuals to determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently; evaluate information and its sources critically, incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base; use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; understand economic, legal and social issues, surrounding the use of information ethically and legally”. Further, it also helps to manage and maintain the information, provides means of access to the information search for information and gather, evaluate and use information.
Digital Information Literacy:
Digital Information Literacy is a relatively new concept, it is one of the major components in Information Literacy. The digitally literate can confidently use, manage, create, quote and share sources of digital information in an effective way. The way in which information is used, created and distributed demonstrates an understanding and acknowledgment of the cultural, ethical, economic, legal and social aspects of information. The digitally literate demonstrate openness, ability to solve the problem, critically reflect, technical capability and willingness to collaborate and keep up-to-date prompted by the changing contexts in which they use information.
Glister (1997, p.290) define Digital Literacy as, “a set of skills to access the Internet; find, manage and edit digital information; join communications; and otherwise engage with an online information and communication network. In general terms, digital information literacy is an ability to use properly and evaluate digital resources, tools, and services and apply it to their lifelong process.” The New Media Consortium (2005, p.2) states that Digital Literacy, “includes the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively and easily adapt them to new forms.” The most essential aspect of digital literacy is the ability to make informed judgments about what is found online, for unlike conventional media, much digital information is unfiltered by editors and open to the contribution of all. There is no mechanism to control over the digital resources. Hence to get quality of the information in the online environment the digital literacy is very much essential for everyone.
Digital literate people are able to:
- Determine the extent of digital information needed,
- Access the needed digital information effectively and efficiently,
- Evaluate digital information sources and services critically,
- Incorporate selected digital Information in one’s knowledge base,
- Use of digital information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; and
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of digital.
- Information access and use of information ethically and legally and respectfully.
It helps users cope with information from a variety of electronic formats and provides techniques and methods of collecting digital resources. It creates awareness of issues like copyright, and intellectual property rights in an electronic environment.
Digital Literacy Competencies:
Computers and productivity tools help library patrons to access information, generate insights, structure results into useful, formal, and product knowledge. The use of these productivity tools by patrons requires librarians to alter their traditional professional role, which was primarily to provide information access for patrons so that they can also provide expanded services and support to these patrons.
The traditional role of librarians was viewed as one of the making information accessible to patrons using various tools and process in the library. Yet the emergence of technology has significantly changed the role of librarians (Gottesman, 2001). There is a paradigm shift; librarians now are expected to assist patrons in integrating materials into their research processes at the time of information access. In discussing the current state of affairs in libraries, Mc. Fadden (2001) argues that there is a critical distinction to be made between librarians’ competencies with productivity tools and their level of information retrieval skills. The American Library Association (ALA 2001) stated that it is becoming an essential part of library services to help patrons to develop the competencies that they need to function effectively and efficiently in the emerging digital culture of the 21st century (ALA,2001).
Digital Literacy Competencies and Librarians:
The global society does not recognize nor respect boundaries. Areas that were once the domain of the librarian have been encroached upon by other sectors, groups, and professions. Library and information staff will need to have experience expertise and proficiency in traditional, electronic and transferable skills. The skills required in the twenty-first century include strategic thinking, managing change, financial management customer satisfaction, communications, decision-making, as well as understanding the role of ICT and digital literacy competencies.
Changing Characteristics of Digital Information Literacy:
1) To select, acquire, preserve, organize and manage digital collections.
2) To Design the technical architecture of Digital Literacy.
3) To describe the content and attributes of items.
4) To plan, implement, and support digital services such as information navigation, consultation and transmits services.
Digital Literacy in Changing Environment:
The digital Librarians should acquire the latest techniques to meet the needs of the users. He should have the qualities and capabilities. The knowledge of the digital librarians should not confine to a single field. He should cover varied subjects such as Library Science, Computer Science, and some specific technologies, communication science, etc. The digital librarians should have the information literacy qualities to disseminate the right information at the right time.
Digital Information Literacy for Lifelong Learning:
When investigating research question the answers about the importance of Digital Information Literacy for the lifelong learning of staff and students (including Maori and Pasifika), productivity and innovation were sought. The participants definitely left the project better equipped to deal with the technological challenges, and more motivated to utilize a wider and more diverse range of tools and strategies for lifelong learning.
- Pujari, R. L. (2018). Digital Information Literacy A Study of North Karnataka Degree College Faculty Members.