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Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee


To oversee and implement ACRL’s Student Learning Initiative as described in the strategic plan. Work with the ACRL Board and other ACRL units to create a comprehensive approach to student learning and information literacy efforts including a) promote and facilitate professional development, publications, research, and advocacy related to information literacy and student learning; b) support the development of the ACRL student learning/information literacy website; and c) monitor and assess the effectiveness of the ACRL Student Learning Initiative.


The ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) is one of the four goal-area committees that work with the ACRL Board as part of the ACRL Plan for Excellence.

SLILC meets in-person at Midwinter and Annual conferences as well as several virtual meetings per year. The committee is broken down into several project teams that work on special projects as determined by the work plan submitted to the ACRL Board each summer and is tied directly to the strategic plan. 

If you have suggestions or questions about SLILC, please contact the current chair, Rhonda Huisman (2016-2017). 

2016-2017 Themes, Projects, and Objectives

  • Framework Support
    • Collaborate and support the ACRL Visiting Program officer and the Framework Advisory Board (FAB) in various projects throughout the year, including hiring curriculum designers, creating programs, implementing the Framework Sandbox, and other professional opportunities.
  • Global Perspectives on Information Literacy
    • This is a multi-year project to create and publish a white paper (publish in 2017) on multiple and diverse perspectives on information literacy and the role of the librarian from around the world; this team will bring together experts through a panel at ACRL as well as other opportunities to engage in discussion and collaboration.
  • Information Literacy and Scholarly Communications Intersections
    • In collaboration with the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee, they will work together to assist in the planning, design, and support of professional curriculum facilitators for an Intersections Roadshow.
  • Programmatic Approaches to Information Literacy
    • Investigate and capitalize on opportunities for connecting information literacy to service learning, undergraduate research, high-impact practices, and other co-curricular activities and partnerships in higher education.
  • Strategic Partnerships and Accreditation
    • Provide access to resources in community colleges, colleges, and universities preparing to document and report information literacy initiatives as part of an institutional accreditation process; foster partnerships that ensure broadening influence of information literacy. Projects include professional development and documentation on the SLILC Libguide and featured publication through ACRL.
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    • Build capacity and provide support for instruction librarians to engage in the practice of instructional and curricular design, professional teaching practices, and pedagogical research; collaborate with relevant ACRL sections and committees to host professional development opportunities, and publish with ACRL (spring, 2018).


Recent Events & Publications


The ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) is excited to announce the first in a series of programming and events related to the forthcoming white paper, Global Perspectives on Information Literacy: Fostering a dialogue for international understanding. The white paper was edited by the ACRL SLILC committee and consists of thirteen chapters written by IL theorists and practitioners from various regions of the world (Africa, Canada, Europe, Oceania, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East), including a foreword by Dr. Emma Coonan of University of East Anglia. The white paper gives important insight into themes, trends, and priorities for information literacy around the globe. Global Perspectives on Information Literacy: Fostering a dialogue for international understanding will be published in March 2017. 

View a preview of the white paper, the foreword written by Dr. Emma Coonan,

Towards a constructive unbalancing: The reflexive turn in information literacy” at this link.

Please join Merinda Kaye Hensley, past chair of SLILC, and Dr. Emma Coonan on February 28th 2017 for an ACRL SLILC online forum. Hensley and Coonan will outline the genesis of the white paper, as well as introduce the themes and highlights emerging from the work. Future programming and opportunities to engage with the authors, including an ACRL 2017 Conference panel and discussion, will be outlined.


For queries, please contact Alan Carbery, or Merinda Kaye Hensley at

Speaker biographies:

Merinda Kaye Hensley

Merinda is Associate Professor and Digital Scholarship Liaison and Instruction Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is part of the Scholarly Commons team, a digital scholarship center that partners with librarians and campus initiatives to support scholarly work across disciplines. She is currently Vice Chair of the Instruction Section and a past member of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education TF.

Dr. Emma Coonan

Emma is the Information Skills Librarian at UEA (University of East Anglia), Norwich, United Kingdom. She holds an MSt and PhD in literary theory and an MSc in Information and Library Management, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Emma’s chief research interests are information literacy, learning development and the scholarship of teaching and learning. In 2011 she was seconded to a fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge, to develop ‘A New Curriculum for Information Literacy’ in collaboration with Dr. Jane Secker of LSE. Since then she has jointly edited two books and is currently writing a third. In June 2015, she became Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Literacy. She spends an unfeasible amount of time on trains and drinks far too much espresso. Emma can be reached at

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Virtual Discussion Forum Series

Join the ACRL Student Learning & Information Literacy Committee and the ACRL Instruction Section for a two-part interactive discussion series on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). This free series will provide the opportunity to engage with leading SoTL scholars to learn more about this exciting area of scholarly inquiry. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #librarianSoTL.

Part 1: Introduction to SoTL

Date and time: Thursday, April 6, 2017 1:00-2:00pm CST

Link to Session 


Join your colleagues for the first of two engaging discussions on the foundations of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Three SoTL practitioners will discuss what this movement is and how it ties into educational theories, practices, and instructional design. Discussion leaders: Nancy Chick (University of Calgary), Margy MacMillan (Mount Royal University), and Cara Bradley (University of Regina).

Part 2: Applying SoTL in Your Work

Date and time: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 1:00-2:00pm CST     

Link to Session 


Looking for more SoTL? This discussion builds on the information shared in the first session. The presenters will share practical strategies and examples of SoTL work in academic libraries, including how librarians can integrate it into their own practice. Discussion leaders: Nancy Chick (University of Calgary), Margy MacMillan (Mount Royal University), and Cara Bradley (University of Regina).




ACRL Presents: A Shared Language: Threshold Concepts in Writing Studies

Monday, April 25, 2016, 1:00-2:30pm (CST)

Presented by the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee and the ACRL Framework Advisory Board


  • Linda Adler-Kassner, Professor of Writing Studies, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, University of California Santa Barbara
  • Elizabeth Wardle, Howe Professor of English, Director of the Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Description: In this interactive presentation, authors of the book “Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies,” will talk about their modified crowd-sourced effort to ask colleagues in Writing Studies to identify threshold concepts in their field. As part of this process, they will describe their method and rationale for undertaking this initiative, in particular their desire to impact writing pedagogy and policy. They will also address how threshold concepts can be useful in initiatives such as program and curriculum design and professional development. The remainder of the webinar will be focused on answering questions and engaging in dialog with participants.


Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee Forum: "Are You High Impact? Instructional, Assessment, and Planning Practices for Campus Engagement"

Saturday, January 9th, 2016 10:30-11:30 AM

Description:  Despite our best intentions, our impact on student engagement, retention, and persistence is often based on anecdotal evidence, or limited access to data through course-end surveys, student feedback, or faculty reactions. However, there are definitive strategies, programs, and collaborations that librarians and libraries can implement for better results that is scalable, measurable, and can make a substantial difference in student success. These High-Impact Practices (Kuh, 2008) will be defined, and examples will be demonstrated and discussed.


Watch video of related ACRL ULS Event hosted on May 5th, 2016.



Big Picture Theory and the Practical Classroom: Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy Instruction

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 11:00 am CST

This webinar is sponsored by the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee.

Presenters: Sylvia Lin Hanick, First Year Experience Librarian and Assistant Professor, LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) Lori Townsend, Learning Services Coordinator, University of New Mexico

Description: Threshold concepts offer a big picture perspective for our information literacy content; this model encourages expert practitioners (us!) to identify the broad ideas that define a discipline. This is not easy because threshold concepts are themselves a threshold concept. They are transformative, integrative, irreversible, bounded, troublesome, and - importantly - they take time to traverse. This meeting will introduce the threshold concepts model as it applies to information literacy. It will address criticisms of the model and discuss the implications of the theory for teaching and learning in the library classroom. We will talk about how librarians can incorporate conceptual teaching into their practice and provide examples of activities and assignments.

Teaching at the intersections: Aligning scholarly communication and information literacy in the one-shot library instruction session Link
Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Maryam Fakouri, Intellectual Property Librarian, Columbia College
John Watts, Teaching & Learning Librarian, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

If we expect undergraduate students to interact with the products of scholarly communication throughout their college career and beyond, we are obligated to teach them about the processes, circumstances, and influences at play in their production. However, it can be difficult to dive into into the world of scholarly communication in a one-shot instruction session with limited time and many learning goals.

With the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and the Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy white paper as its foundations, this webcast will provide participants with ideas and skills to develop pedagogical strategies that engage undergraduate students on a range of scholarly communication issues within a one-shot instruction session.


Contact Maryam Fakouri for more information!


Phone: 312.369.7905