As we have seen, false information is nothing new and is present in many forms. So how do we know what to believe? How can we judge the quality of information? A meaningful step is to learn about information creation and engage in critical thinking. is one of the most achievable methods to combat information disorder (Batchelor, 2017). Information literacy is a concept with a lengthy history and an evolving definition.
It is a concept used in information studies within the realm of libraries and is taught by librarians and information professionals. In 1989, the American Library Association stated that “an information literate individual should recognise when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information” (As cited in De Paor & Heravi, 2020, p. 3). In 2018, CILIP, a library and information association out of the United Kingdom (UK) expanded the definition adding that, information literacy is “the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage with society” (as cited in De Paor & Heravi, 2020, p. 4).
Even those of us who think we are immune to false information, are not. Very few of us recognise our own limits. The only way we can combat information disorder is to learn about it, then do our best to detect it and stop its spread. Understanding the information environment and asking questions are among the first steps in becoming information literate individuals.
A person’s ability to use information effectively in order to fulfill a specific goal. It may involve recognizing a need for information, seeking it, finding it, and evaluating it.