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Information Literacy

ACRL New Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015)

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

The ACRL Standards however have been under review by an ACRL Task Force for several years resulting in the recently published Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education has cited that the recent trend of rethinking and reframing of the standards has been instigated by the “emerging models of information literacy, recognized by the development of multiple new literacies and the need to provide a stronger continuum of literacy from K-16” (Bell, 2013).  There is a need to identify “foundational experiences that will have enduring value” (Fister, 2015).

As a result of reimagining information literacy, The ACRL Task Force for the new Framework has developed a much more complex definition: 
"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."  (2015).

“The debate about the Standards versus the Framework has been quite heated at times, but it has highlighted …the need for us to work closely with our teaching faculty rather than rely on a disciplinary definition of what students need to learn….[Information literacy] has to be learned over several years, because it’s complicated and needs lots of practice. It’s experiential learning that involves skills, dispositions, emotions, and varying degrees of intrinsic motivation. You learn how information works by encountering, using, and creating it” (Fister, 2015).

The six concepts that anchor the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education are:

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
Information Creation as a Process
Information Has Value
Research as Inquiry
Scholarship as Conversation
Searching as Strategic Exploration    (ACRL, 2015)                               

The new Framework is becoming a key document in the learning and teaching educational reform movement of academic institutions around the world and supports the concepts that: 
IL is moving from individual skills to social practices
IL is not always about the Library, but is always about the learner
IL provides flexible options for implementation rather than a set of rigid standards
Is it the role of librarians to push products or teach process? 
Students don't just consume information but have a conversation with the information and contribute new information.  Students have a voice.

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