Assessment of Information Literacy Skills among Students of Alagappa University, India.

Author:Alagu, A.


Literacy is traditionally assumed as the ability to read and write. The term's meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, information available from various sources in many formats, such as images, printed text and CD ROMs, Database and websites. Information literate one needs to know why information is needed, when information is a need, and how to find information and how to use all of these sources and think critically about the available information.

Students need to be able to work effectively with information, using it at all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating). Information literacy involves traditional skills such as reading, researching, and writing; but new ways to read and write have also introduced new skills.

Information literacy is critical for the present students, it advances critical thinking methodologies and thinking aptitudes--making inquiries and looking for answers, discovering data, affecting hypotheses, evaluating sources and settling on choices encouraging and effective students, successful givers, certain people, and, certain people and capable subjects. The library represents the lifelong learning.

Literature Review

Liew, Foo, and Chennupati (2000), the study conducted an exploratory that while reading an e-journal is not the same as reading a printed one, many are beginning to acknowledge the possibility that electronic documents (e-documents) offer users advanced features and novel forms of functionality beyond what is possible in printed form. Years ago Brophy (1993), noticed that the benefits of electronic assets over print incorporate speed, convenience, capacity to look through different records in the meantime, capacity to spare, print and rehash seeks, more continuous refreshing and the capacity to access from outside the library.

Thanuskodi (2012) identified Public libraries are essential since they improve literacy, stimulate imagination and expand personal horizons. They also inform and empower citizens, enable access to a common cultural heritage and support education at all levels. Also, a positive relationship is observed between public library and literacy level, which in turn, contributes to increase in economic productivity. Extensive studies were undertaken to study the role of public libraries in information society, value of services offered and use of the resources. Assessing the effectiveness of libraries is the order of the day. In order to keep up with the current trends, libraries must constantly evaluate its functions. Evaluating through user perspective is result based. Because users are the ultimate beneficiaries and can suggest effective measures to improve the existing facilities in libraries. This study evaluates library services and gives suggestions for the improvement of district central libraries in Tamilnadu, India.

Oketunji (2002) surveyed to study the application of computer and communication technology to information handling. The use of these technologies requires training, which brings about information literacy. Information literacy includes library literacy, media literacy, computer literacy, research literacy, and critical thinking skills. Information literacy, as viewed by Bruce and Candy (2006), is a worldwide issue, with especially strong efforts and examples in North America, Australia, South Africa, and Northern Europe.

Audunson and Nordlie (2003) study showed the categories of information literacy into three main groups. The first group according to them describes technical capabilities, that is, computer literacy. The study was found that for each dimension, the authors distinguish several levels of competence, from basic competence to super-user competence to in-depth competence and consider information literacy as the sum of different kinds of literacy.

Boekhorst (2003) conducted a study was showed that all definitions and descriptions of information literacy presented over the years can be summarized in three concepts: The ICT concept which refers to the competence with which to use ICT to retrieve and disseminate information. The information resources concept, this refers to the competence to find and use information independently or with the aid of intermediaries, and finally, the information process concept of information literacy, which refers to the process of recognizing the information need, retrieving, evaluating, using and...

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