"Information Literacy" is a topic that we think/talk about quite a bit here at PVLD. We have an active program to take information literacy education into the schools, we have until recently participated in a group of librarians from all kinds of libraries with an interest in this topic, and some of the librarians and I have been guest contributors to a University of Illinois Library School class on the topic. We've tended to take a pretty narrow view of what is meant by the term, though - something along the lines of this definition from The American Library Association's (ALA) Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, Final Report "To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (1989).
It's an ok definition, although I'm not sure it goes far enough in today's Web 2.0 world where individuals are increasingly able to create and publish information. As applied by most librarians it also has a kind of dry, academic feel – we tend to think of information literacy in terms of teaching students about "sources" and "research skills". That's why I loved this post on Sexy Librarians of the Future from "The Read Write Web" which offers a whole new spin on information literacy and the role of librarians. (And thanks to the folks at Library Garden for pointing me to this item!)
I especially loved the paraphrased comment attributed to Jon Udell of Microsoft -"the librarian of the future will help a growing number of citizen media producers to classify their online media and get it connected to other related content in ways that will increase its discoverability". I couldn't agree more with Read Write Web author Marshall Kirkpatrick – that is HOT!
The staff here at PVLD is getting pretty adept and learning and applying some of these Web 2.0 tools – as witnessed by our Meebo widget, various blogs, and soon-to-be unveiled new website. Now we need to figure how to help our customers gain these skills. Should be fun!