Monday, January 31, 2011

Information Literacy and Social Justice

One of the Darling Library’s main objectives is to develop information literate students. What does this mean? The American Library Association defines it this way:

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. (American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report.(Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.)

It has been said that knowledge is power. The idea that you can use what you know to improve yourself or your status, your influence is quite true. If it is true that knowledge is power, in the Information Age, the haves and have-nots are divided by what they know.

Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, said, "Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." ( )

If the Darling Library is truly going to be able to accomplish its mission to develop information literate students who are fully equipped for a lifelong practice of learning, we have to keep up with the breakneck pace of information technology. The skills required for navigating the world of information are constantly changing.

But beyond producing information literate students, we support the University’s mission to produce graduates who will make an impact on the world for Christ. The ALA describes the importance of information literacy:

On a daily basis, problems are more difficult to solve when people lack access to meaningful information vital to good decision making. Many people are vulnerable to poorly informed people or opportunists when selecting nursing care for a parent or facing a major expense such as purchasing, financing, or insuring a new home or car. Other information-dependent decisions can affect one's entire lifetime. (American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report.(Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.)

This is Social Justice Week at Hope. It is a time to focus on what it looks like for Christians to do something about injustices in the world. So what is our part? One concrete thing that the Darling Library can do is to support literacy programs in Africa through our partnership with Better World Books.

Find out more about what you can do. Attend HIU Social Justice Week 2011: "So, what is our part?"

Check out library books on the church and social justice. Subjects: Church and Social Problems OR Christianity and Justice.

The Hugh and Hazel Darling Library serves the information and research needs of Hope International University community by providing access to information resources and developing information literacy for lifelong learning.

No comments: