Benson, Lampitt & Jasey Measure to Promote Information Literacy Heads to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, Pamela Lampitt and Mila Jasey would empower students in New Jersey by giving them the tools necessary to engage with and evaluate information. Having cleared the Assembly, 61-8-4, and the Senate, 36-0, the bill now heads to Governor Murphy’s desk.

The bill (A-4169/S-588) would direct the State Board of Education to adopt New Jersey Student Learning Standards in information literacy. Information literacy content would include:

  • The research process and how information is created and produced;
  • Critical thinking and using information resources;
  • Research methods, including the difference between primary and secondary sources;
  • The difference between facts, points of view, and opinion;
  • Accessing peer-reviewed print and digital library resources;
  • The economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information; and
  • The ethical production of information.

A committee comprised of educators, mostly library media specialists and teachers, would be tasked with developing the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in information literacy. Before adopting the learning standards, the bill requires at least one hearing be held in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state to allow the public to comment on the standards.

Upon the bill advancing from the Legislature, Assembly Democrats Dan Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington), and Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris) issued the following joint statement:

“Living in the digital era gives us access to endless information, but not all is equal. That is why it’s so important to prepare students in New Jersey with a robust information literacy education. 

“The Learning Standards will provide New Jersey students with the foundational skills necessary to effectively engage with and evaluate information found online. Having the ability to look at a piece of information and assess its validity is important for everyone. Whether you are writing a research paper or learning about current events, being able to use critical thinking skills to determine the credibility of information is crucial.”