Information Literacy is defined as the lifelong ability to recognise the need for, to locate, evaluate and effectively use information (American Library Association, 2006). Digital information literacy is one aspect of this and very relevant for the 21st Century. Another term used in this context is fluency and this is where the following definition sits:

"Digital Information Fluency (DIF) is the ability to find, evaluate and use digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically. DIF involves knowing how digital information is different from print information; having the skills to use specialized tools for finding digital information; and developing the dispositions needed in the digital information environment." 21st Century Digital Information Fluency (DIF) project and model

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For the purposes of this resource, the following terms will be used as they denote a broader context for digital information literacy: access (find), interpret (evaluate) and create (use).

The ability to access, interpret and create digital information has increased its level of importance in the continuum of literacy in recent years. This is because the use of computers, the Internet and the World Wide Web has become integral to many forms of information access, communication, and knowledge generally. This change is having an impact on common understandings about information, communication and knowledge - causing many to ask fundamental questions like:
  • what sort of information do I need,
  • how do I find it and in what form do I need it to be?
  • what is reliable information?
  • How do we communicate effectively?
  • and how do we develop and maintain knowledge?