Indicators of adult information literacy

Ralph Catts
2012, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 4-18

Abstract


Information literacy, defined as the capacity to locate, evaluate and use information to create new knowledge, is a core adult life skill and an extension of the notion of functional literacy. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has identified information literacy as an essential capacity for participation in the knowledge economy and has included this construct as a strategic priority in the Information for All Programme (IFAP). To support this initiative UNESCO has commissioned research to consider whether a household survey could be used to identify the extent to which people in member states are information literate in all aspects of their life, including work and lifelong learning, and in relation to their personal well-being, and in their participation in civil society. United Nations agencies use surveys to provide indications of the extent to which various agreed objectives are being achieved. These include international surveys of education and of health and well-being.

This paper reports on an investigation aimed at determining whether indicators of information literacy could be identified by secondary analysis of existing data collected in other household surveys. It was concluded that information literacy has unique elements that are not encompassed in the surveys that were examined.


Keywords


information literacy; performance indicators; functional literacy; knowledge economy; information society

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