The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) has recently adopted the newly developed Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015). The Framework seeks to address some of the limitations of the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) and offers a revised and expanded definition of information literacy:
“Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”
The Mount A Libraries Information Literacy pages will soon be revised to reflect the transition from the ACRL Standards to the new Framework.
In North America, most university libraries base their information literacy programmes on the document Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, developed by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). There are five overarching standards:
These standards are further broken down into 22 "performance indicators" and 87 "outcomes."
The idea that a student can become "information literate" is problematic, as students will require varying levels of information literacy skills over time. The ACRL document can be useful as a starting point, but is certainly not definitive.
More about information literacy from ACRL can be found on the following sites:
Association of College & Research Libraries. Guidelines for Instruction Programs in Academic Libraries. Chicago: American Library Association, June, 2003.
Recommended guidelines for a successful instruction program covering program design, human resources and institutional support.
_____. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Chicago: American Library Association, Jan. 18, 2000.
Performance indicators and outcomes provide a framework for assessing information literacy skills.
_____. Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: A Model Statement for Academic Librarians. Chicago: American Library Association, Jan., 2001.
Breaks down the Competency Standards' performance indicators and outcomes into very specific instructional goals for librarians and classroom instructors.
Australia's approach to information literacy in higher education is derived from the American approach. There are six standards in the document created by the Council of Australian University Librarians:
As with the ACRL standards, the notion that a person can become "information literate" is problematic.
Another approach to information literacy comes from the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) in the UK. They list seven "headline" information literacy skills:
The British approach seems to be more flexible than the American approach, and it acknowledges varying levels of expertise within the headline skills. More information about SCONUL's approach to information literacy can be found at http://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/information_literacy/papers/
Last updated 17 June 2010