Information literacy is the ability to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively. To be information literate means that one not only has great research skills, but good critical thinking.

Tips for understanding your emotional reaction 
  • How you feel can affect how you interpret information.
  • Examine the creator's word choice - do certain words seem particularly evocative? 
  • Ask yourself: is the goal of the information to make you feel a certain way? 
Tips for evaluating information 
  • Figure out the intention of the source. Ask yourself: Is the source satire, opinion, or an attempt to educate? Is it trying to sell something? 
  • Check that all the information is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. 
  • Find out who the creator is and see what makes them an authority on the topic. 
  • Look for bias. Ask yourself: How much is the source influenced by bias? Is the bias upfront or hidden? 
Tips for seeking help and guidance 
  • Remember that librarians don’t always know the answers to your questions, but they can help you find places to learn more. 
  • Feel free to ask multiple librarians, teachers, and other media mentors. Information experts can be wrong, or carry their own bias!
Tips for considering other sources and perspectives 
  • One source is rarely enough to understand the whole picture.
  • Remember that social media feeds are curated to keep you engaged, not necessarily to keep you informed. Try to branch out! 
  • An encyclopedia can be a great place to start gathering general information. (Even Wikipedia can be a good starting source—Did you know that Wikipedia lists sources at the bottom so that you can do your own research and fact-check?) 
  • Ask yourself: Are there relevant perspectives that are not included in the source? If yes, try to find sources from some of these perspectives. 
Tips for using information ethically 
  • Stop and think about the information you are using or sharing, the context you are using it in, and the language you use to share it.
  • Remember to always share the source! This can include: where you found it, who wrote or published it, and any fact-checking you’ve already done. 
  • Google is not a source. Look at the webpage that Google links to in order to investigate the source and cite it. 
  • Remember that no one is immune to misinformation. It’s ok to make a mistake, but admit it when it happens! 
  • Never knowingly share misinformation, no matter how harmless it may seem.