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Information Literacy in an Online World

Information Literacy is the ability identify an information need and to locate and evaluate appropriate resources to satisfy this need. As more and more information and communication has moved online information literacy has become closely tied to computer literacy. Individuals who find themselves on the bottom of the digital divide often lack skills necessary to compete and thrive in today's society. These individual may lack the ability to find work, stay informed of laws and rights, obtain social and financial services, and are at an increased risk for online scams and identity theft. The level and quality of general public discourse is also affected by information literacy rates. This presentation will take a look at how age and economics are tied to information literacy, provide insights gleaned through library reference work in public, academic, and legal libraries, and discuss on how design can promote information literacy and computer literacy.


  1. What can an unemployed trucker and your mom teach you about computers?
  2. Who suffers from the digital divide and why should those "on top" care?
  3. Are digital natives more or less information literate than other generations?
  4. What are some usability and information literacy problems observed by librarians?
  5. Why is information and computer literacy important to society?



Laura Larsell, Ontologist, Trapit

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