Archived Information

Understanding Information Literacy - September 1999

Implications for the Workplace

Many changes are occurring in the workplace today. Employees are expected to keep up with rapid technological advances, to streamline operations and to possess the ability to be proactive problem solvers (Hancock 1993). Information literacy skills, which carry over from educational to occupational settings, are the keys to helping employees keep up with change in their jobs and careers, and in self-improvement and upgrading of skills. The U.S. Department of Labor's report from the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) lists information literacy as one of the five essential competencies necessary for solid job performance.

Awareness of market trends, the business climate, and policies affecting business involves the active pursuit of information upon which decisions will be made. Such information has to be considered for its recency, bias, source, and accuracy. Failure to understand this on the part of schools and business will result in students who are unprepared for the real world of work; and, given the current economic problems of our country and concerns about America's international competitiveness, the costliness of information illiteracy is ill-afforded nationally and individually (Breivik 1992).


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