Information-related competencies (information literacy) are critically important competencies in our modern society. The increasingly complex world in which we live now contains an abundance of information choices - print, electronic, image, spatial, sound, visual, and numeric. The issue is no longer one of not having enough information; it is just the opposite - too much information, in various formats and not all of equal value and quality.

In a time of more than 17 million Internet sites, three billion Web pages, and more than a million items in a typical medium-sized academic library, the ability to act confidently (and not be paralyzed by information overload) is critical to academic success and personal self-directed learning (Rockman, 2004).

Lorie Roth (1999) aptly describes the current information environment and the pitfalls facing college and university students:

"With the explosion of information generated and stored, the unregulated sprawl of the Internet, the shift from a print- to an image-based culture, the development of sound and video archives, and the ease of seemingly infinite reproduction of words and pictures through electronic media, the pitfalls for college students have multiplied geometrically. There is so much information, so much of it of doubtful quality, so accessible through so many different platforms".


Individuals who are knowledgeable about finding, evaluating, analyzing, integrating, managing, and conveying information to others efficiently and effectively are held in high esteem. These are the students, workers, and citizens who are most successful at solving problems, providing solutions, and producing new ideas and directions for the future. They are lifelong learners (Rockman, 2004).

This learning object explains what are information-related competencies/IRC (information literacy/IL) and why do we need competencies related with information finding, handling and use.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 3.0 License

Sirje Virkus, Tallinn University, 2009