Why IL?

InformAll is a consultancy and social enterprise that develops understanding of the importance and relevance of information know-how in contemporary society. We are here to help develop awareness of of how skills, competences and confidence in the use of information – whatever form this takes – is beneficial for organisations and individuals. Find out more about who we are and what we have to offer.

Why is this important? Information in all its guises, and the rich seams of data that often underpin it, are fundamental building blocks for democratic and inclusive societies. The relationship that individuals, communities and organisations have with information strongly influences their behaviour. The methods that are deployed to search for, discover, access, retrieve, sift, interpret, analyse, manage, create, communicate and preserve information and data are major factors in how people are educated, develop their careers, play their part as informed citizens in the wider world, and generally go about their business. But they need help to take full advantage of their complex relationship with information. How members of society develop appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence, the support they receive, the training and educational opportunities provided for them, and the take-up of such opportunities are highly pertinent to the way that they relate to information. The capabilities that relate to acquiring this know-how are sometimes referred to as information literacy (IL).

These capabilities are critical for individuals to function as learners, employees, employers, and also as citizens. One widely-used definition of IL is knowing when and why individuals need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner. It addresses a global challenge: in its Alexandria Declaration (2005), UNESCO affirms that IL “empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations”. But individuals do not become information literate spontaneously or merely through interacting with an increasingly sophisticated array of technological devices. Enabling IL requires a training and education effort at different life stages and in different contexts. It also calls for an increased awareness across society about the relevance and importance of such capabilities.

InformAll is dedicated to getting IL better recognised and understood across society as an important contributor to education and learning at all stages, as well as to social inclusiveness, citizenship and economic effectiveness.