n.the ability to recognize when sources of knowledge or data are needed to address a situation or problem and to identify, locate, evaluate, and use the sourcesALA 1989, 1To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Producing such a citizenry will require that schools and colleges appreciate and integrate the concept of information literacy into their learning programs and that they play a leadership role in equipping individuals and institutions to take advantage of the opportunities inherent within the information society. Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.Pugh 2005, 53Academic archivists generally feel obliged to teach students because of the instructional role of their parent institution although the parent institution may not recognize the educational role of archives, even in academic settings. Participating in introductory programs offered by college and university libraries can reach many students. The programs, once called “bibliographic instruction,” are now more often titled “information literacy” programs.Morris, Mykytiuk, and Weiner 2014, 397Information literacy encompasses the ability to know when information is needed; to identify the sources needed to address a given problem or issue; to find, evaluate, and organize the needed information; and to use the information effectively. As such, information literacy encompasses a range of information-related activities, skills, and processes.Weiner, Morris, and Mykytiuk 2015, 155Archival literacy can be considered a contextual application of information literacy (the ability to recognize a need for information; identify the sources needed to address a given problem or issue; find, evaluate, and organize the needed information; and use the information effectively to address the problem or issue at hand).Hinchliffe 2016, 2Libraries of all types have taken on the challenge of creating teaching and learning programs as well as other services in support of their users developing information literacy. As appropriate to context, different terminology may be used to invoke different aspects or conceptualizations of information literacy instruction (e.g. digital literacy, media literacy, metaliteracy, research literacy, archival literacy, visual literacy, transliteracy, etc.) but at their core they all have the individual who is or is becoming information literate, typically understood with the context of a community of practice or domain of expertise and assuming basic literacy as a foundation.
Terms such as archival literacy, primary source literacy, digital literacy, visual literacy, and artifactual literacy are often considered aspects or conceptualizations of information literacy. The term information literacy instruction has in many libraries come to replace the term bibliographic instruction to refer to instructional programming.