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  24/7 A Library Research Guide and Webletter
Are You Information Savvy?

What is Information?

Information is data--facts--used to solve a problem or answer a question. Data and facts are meaningless by themselves;however, when you need to know something and find the right facts, you have information. Making decisions without information, or without being informed is called guessing. Information comes in a variety of shapes and forms, from the average height of a women's basketball team, the top 100 movies of the century, and Martin Luther King's date of birth, to the formula for cold fusion, why the sky is blue, and so much more.

Why is Information Important?
Since information is power, most people want to be "information savvy". After all, learning about information and the research process can enhance your life in many ways. A person who can function well in the Information Age is referred to as an "Information Literate" person. Being information literate means that you can successfully find, evaluate and use information effectively and efficiently. It also means that you can:

  • cope with the overwhelming amount of information
  • make informed decisions about your life, both academically and personally
  • think critically about information and how to apply it
  • value self-reliance but know when you need to ask for help
  • learn the research process and how to access and use information
  • determine how technology can be used to your advantage
  • enhance your problem solving skills

Imagine having an information need and knowing exactly how to fill it! However, the Information Age does have its challenges. Did you know that:

  • one Sunday edition of the New York Times newspaper contains more information than was encountered in an entire lifetime in the 16th century?
  • in one week in today's world, the average person is faced with more decisions than they would have had to make in a lifetime in the 17th Century?
  • information is doubling every 12 months?
  • there are now billions of sites on the Internet?

How are you going to take advantage of all this information? How are you going to sort through it all and find the authoriative information? In day to day living, we're usually able to filter through all the pieces of information we come in contact with and to pull out what we need to know. For example, you probably know where to get a good hot dog or how to find out what's playing at the movies or whose turn it is to do the dishes. However, what seems pretty natural for day to day living doesn't always seem to be as easy when it comes to writing a paper or completing a research assignment. In addition to 24/7, here are some web sites that can help you to become an information literate learner. Remember: Information is Power!
Web sites

Other academic libraries around the country are also interested in helping their students learn more about the research process. Look how these libraries are helping their students to become information literate.
About the Information Age
created by the librarians at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
Finding the Information You Need:A Research Tutorial
developed by librarians at Moraine Valley Community College Library in Palos Hill, Illinois
Using the Library:A Tutorial
created by the librarians at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland


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