Information literacy levels among students in four selected higher education institutions in Lusaka.

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Daka, Kaoma.L
Mwila, Chitundu P.C
Mwanachingwala, Thabiso M.
Mkulama, Abel C.
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Library and Information Association of Zambia Journal
Information Literacy (IL) skills are vital in Higher Education, where students are expected to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners, particularly in today’s digital age. This study sought to investigate IL among students in higher learning intuitions in Lusaka, Zambia. Its objectives were drawn from SCONUL’s 7 Pillars of Information Literacy and included: finding out the students’ ability to identify an information need; finding out how they defined the parameters of the information needed; establishing how they construct strategies for locating information; gauging the students’ ability to effectively/efficiently access the information needed; finding out the students’ ability to evaluate information; examining how well students organise information professionally and finding out students’ ability to apply the knowledge gained. A sample of 250 students was randomly selected from 2 universities and 2 colleges in Lusaka. Structured questionnaires, consisting Likert Scale statements as well as open- and closed-ended questions, were used to collect the data. Research findings revealed that students had difficulties in identifying their information needs; were more familiar with Google that other search tools; used convenient search strategies; used relevance as main evaluation criteria; had difficulties citing electronic sources; and presented information better verbally than in written format. The study concluded that while students showed some evidence of information literacy, there was a serious need to introduce IL programs across learning programs in order to enhance students’ IL proficiency. Further, it was recommended that Library orientation programs be re-designed for more effective IL instruction. Keywords: Information Literacy, SCONUL Pillars, Higher Education
Information Literacy. , Information Literacy--Higher education institutions.