Information literacy is the basis for library and classroom skills. It is a set of abilities that enable individuals to:
Critical literacy represents an approach to information literacy that takes into consideration the social, political, and economic contexts that influence how we evaluate and choose information.
Critical literacy is of particular importance in putting anti-racism, anti-discrimination, and decolonization into practice. The sense of credibility we often give to certain types of perspectives is rooted in colonial, Eurocentric attitudes that hold white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender men in the highest regard. Often we unconsciously treat these attributes as the norm associated with terms like expert, academic, or professional. The voices of women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour), people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQ2S+, or other marginalized identities are commonly underrepresented or undervalued, even when their lived experiences are the focus of work.
By approaching information critically—with the background and perspective of the subject, author, institution, or publication in mind—we can re-examine what it means to be a credible source on a topic.