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ACRL Liaisons to Professional Associations: Major Issues, Talking Points, and Resources

What is 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."  - ACRL. (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from ACRL website 

Main Talking Points

  • Information literacy is more than just learning to distinguish credible sources. It involves critical questions about how information is created, distributed, and consumed.
  • Information literacy is not just the province of libraries or librarians - it is a transdisciplinary set of abilities which take on different emphases within and across areas of study. 
  • Many disciplines already have standards or outcomes which include information literacy. (See ). 
  • Information literacy can support inclusive pedagogy by examining inequities through questions about voice, information access, representation of communities or groups, bias in search algorithms, etc. 

Working with Librarians

  • Many librarians have deep expertise in information literacy, and are well versed in addressing information literacy through teaching, programming, consultation, and course-integrated foci such as workshops, curriculum development, and assignment design. 

  • Contact the librarians at your institution. They will be able to point you in the right direction to discuss opportunities for addressing various information literacy needs. 

Information Literacy Standards

  1. Information Literacy in the Disciplines
  2. This page contains links and citations to information literacy standards and curricula developed by accrediting agencies, professional associations, and institutions of higher education. The resources listed were identified by contacting accrediting agencies, conducting literature reviews, and searching the web. Suggestions for additional materials that meet the "criteria" for inclusion are welcome. The web site and criteria will be revised and updated by the "Information Literacy in the Disciplines Committee" of the ACRL Instruction Section.

  3. Discipline-Specific Information Literacy Standards

Frameworks for Infomation Literacy in Higher Eduction

  1. Sample letter introducing new Information Literacy Framework to Liaison target group. Posted to ALA Connect by Mary Ellen Davis. 
  2. We have just  released a revised draft of the  Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education ( and I need your help in reaching out to the most appropriate contacts at the association  to which you are liaisons.

    Please adapt as appropriate the message below and send to your contacts asking them to help spread the word within their associations. Or, if you can post directly to the most appropriate email lists for committees, discussion groups, etc. for your target organization, please post your own announcement asking for members to read and comment on the new Framework.

    Hi X

    I’m writing to you today about the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, first adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2000. This document has become an essential document related to the emergence of information literacy as a recognized learning outcome at many institutions of higher education. The ACRL Board of Directors has appointed a task force to significantly revise the standards in order to address the changing information climate and information needs of students.

    We recently announced that a draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is available for your review and feedback. While we have promoted this to academic librarians through our channels, information literacy is a campus wide concern, and we want to be sure we reach the widest possible audience, including higher education stakeholders.

    As you are able, help us promote this on your lists/newsletters/blog/social media outlets. Feel free to copy and paste the full press release, or amend if you think there is better language to use in communicating with your members so they see the connection to their issues and work.

    Don’t hesitate to let me know if you questions or concerns. I appreciate your helping us spread the word on this important work of ACRL.

  3. ACRL Frameworks for Information Literacy in Higher Education Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors in Jan. 2015, the Framework offered here is called a framework intentionally because it is based on a cluster of interconnected core concepts, with flexible options for implementation, rather than on a set of standards, learning outcomes, or any prescriptive enumeration of skills. At the heart of this Framework are conceptual understandings that organize many other concepts and ideas about information, research, and scholarship into a coherent whole. These conceptual understandings are informed by the work of Wiggins and McTighe,2 which focuses on essential concepts and questions in developing curricula and focuses on threshold concepts.3 Threshold concepts are those ideas in any discipline that are passageways or portals to enlarged understanding or ways of thinking and practicing within that discipline.
  4. ACRL Frameworks Appendices including implementing the Frameworks, an introduction for faculty and administrators, and for administrators, how to support the frameworks. 

Further Reading