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Information Literacy & Pedagogy Toolkit for Librarians

What is Information Literacy (IL)?

"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."

--from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015)

What is Critical Information Literacy (CIL)?

Critical information literacy considers “the social, political, economic, and corporate systems that have power and influence over information production, dissemination, access, and consumption.” It acknowledges the social context of information and encourages librarians, faculty, and students to examine that context and question the structures surrounding information creation and use. 

--from Information Literacy & Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis, Lua Gregory & Shana Higgins 2013, p. 6

Framework for IL for Higher Education

The Framework for IL for Higher Education was filed by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Board in Feb. 2015 as the new guiding document for information literacy education. It is composed of 6 frames that are concepts central to information literacy, along with accompanying knowledge practices and dispositions:

  • Authority is Constructed and Contextual
    Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.
  • Information Creation as a Process
    Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.
  • Information Has Value
    Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.  
  • Research as Inquiry
    Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.  
  • Scholarship as Conversation
    Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.  
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration
    Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.


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