This article reports on doctoral research which explored the meaning and role of information literacy among a specific group of workers - firefighters. An alternative concept of information literacy and a broader definition of information literate people are introduced. The article suggests that librarians are currently bound by an educational concept of what information literacy is and how it manifests itself. They must begin to engage with and explore other contexts and practices that facilitate becoming information literate, in order to understand the role of information literacy in learning outside educational settings. By engaging with different contexts, concepts and truths, our provision of information literacy education will be enhanced and contribute towards learning practices which are transformative, generic and transferable.