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Information Literacy Month celebrated with panel discussion


Contact:Kate Arthur

If your child needs to know how to clean birds covered in oil by an environmental disaster for a biology paper, or you’re shopping for a tablet and want to compare features, you probably go to the same place – the Internet. But how do you know whether the information you find is credible?

That’s what information literacy is all about and Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed October Information Literacy Month. Dane Ward, interim dean of the University Libraries at Illinois State, worked on the statewide effort to bring focus to the topic. Illinois is one of 10 states to issue the proclamation. Ward serves as a member of the board of directors of the National Forum on Information Literacy.

“How do we find good information and how do we make sense of it?” Ward asked. “Students struggle with this quite a bit. A student writing a research paper needs to be able to figure out if the information is credible. As tech-savvy as students are, they struggle with how to evaluate the information they find.”

And so do others. One of the most popular searches on the Internet is for health information. “People with symptoms are blogging about it and it becomes the blind leading the blind,” Ward said.

“The Urgency of Information Skills,” a panel discussion on the importance of information literacy, will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center. Panelists are: Alauna Akins, School of Communications; Susan Kossman, College of Nursing; Kathy Mountjoy, Business Teacher Education; Patrick O’Rourke, Department of Agriculture; and Joyce Walker, Department of English, Rhetoric and Composition. Ward will moderate. The event is free and a reception will follow.

For more information, contact Dane Ward at or 438-7215.

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