Information Literacy begins with an understanding of our individual needs for information. It is "the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information," (according to definition by ACRL) and requires that we use information ethically.
Information literacy is important because we find ourselves in an increasingly complex environment. Not all information is equal; some is authoritative, current, reliable, but some is biased, out of date, misleading, and false. The amount of information available is going to keep increasing. The types of technology used to access, manipulate, and create information will likewise expand.
Information literacy skills are used for academic purposes, such as research papers and group presentations. They're needed on the job—the ability to find, evaluate, use and share information is an essential skill. As a consumer these skills can help you to make wise and economical choices. You'll also use these skills by participating fully in our democratic system of government by becoming informed about the issues before you vote.
Synthesizing means to combine a large number of things into a cohesive whole. When you do research, synthesizing your sources can help to bring together different ideas and theories.
BCC librarians are available to help you with your research. We provide guidance in locating information and using resources available through the library and on the internet.
You can also use our off-line form, and a librarian will email you back with answers and suggestions. You will receive a reply within 2 business days.