Information Literacy in the 21st Century

The United States National Forum on Information Literacy defines information literacy as “… the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.” (American Library Association, 2012)

In general, everything is already said and written. The student task is to read and to identify the information, and to learn how in their own words to tell about what someone learn from the book or article during their research process in the requested writing assignment.

Academic writing is different from text message’s abbreviations, urban language, slang, and idioms created by local pop culture. It is important that students as future professionals write ‘good’ sentences.

At Florida National University, students, faculty, and professional staff committed to assist students with EOSL classes and Gen/Ed courses. The Writing Lab’s attendance for study and learning, the FNU Library’s learning resources and individual & group workshops, the Computer lab are the instrumental tools to advance student writing skills.

These days, we have a lot of digital help:

  • Microsoft (MS) Word computer program helps students to use the Header and Page Number to set the academic paper. Students have choices to use References at MS Word tab to Manage Sources and Insert Citations,


  • Instead of the new Blank document, student can request the MLA or APA-style sample and adapt the sample format for their writing assignments,


  • If the students search for information from FNU Library digital databases such as LIRN or Florida Electronic Library, research will give them full-text and peer reviewed articles from academic journals related to their field of study to write rewarded research college papers. Besides, each article cites the References for users digitally. Students may email, download, print, translate the article in language of someone’s preferences, use highlights, and activate the audio feature that will read; yes, read the article for users.


Practice writing, keep a journal, take notes, and use flash cards. People say, practicing makes it perfect. But writing in a vacuum would not do us much good. Writing and reading both are going together. Reading is a hugely important part of any college writing. Reading is the writers’ research.


Ida Tomshinsky, MLS
Library Director
Florida National University