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Faculty Resources: IL Standards

ACRL Information Literacy Framework, 2015

The philosophy behind the IL Framework

The Framework is based on a cluster of interconnected core concepts, with flexible options for implementation, rather than on a set of standards or 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, which focuses on essential concepts and questions in developing curricula, and also by threshold concepts which are those ideas in any discipline that are passageways or portals to enlarged understanding or ways of thinking and practicing within that discipline. This Framework draws upon an ongoing Delphi Study that has identified several threshold concepts in information literacy, but the Framework has been molded using fresh ideas and emphases for the threshold concepts. Two added elements illustrate important learning goals related to those concepts: knowledge practices, which are demonstrations of ways in which learners can increase their understanding of these information literacy concepts, and dispositions, which describe ways in which to address the affective, attitudinal, or valuing dimension of learning.

Six Frames

The Framework is organized into six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions. The six concepts that anchor the frames are presented alphabetically:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Please visit the ACRL's webpages for a full explanation of the IL Framework's six frames and corresponding knowledge practices and dispositions.


Notes

1. Association of College & Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (Chicago, 2000).

2. Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. (Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2004).

3. Threshold concepts are core or foundational concepts that, once grasped by the learner, create new perspectives and ways of understanding a discipline or challenging knowledge domain. Such concepts produce transformation within the learner; without them, the learner does not acquire expertise in that field of knowledge. Threshold concepts can be thought of as portals through which the learner must pass in order to develop new perspectives and wider understanding. Jan H. F. Meyer, Ray Land, and Caroline Baillie. “Editors’ Preface.” In Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning, edited by Jan H. F. Meyer, Ray Land, and Caroline Baillie, ix–xlii. (Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2010).

4. For information on this unpublished, in-progress Delphi Study on threshold concepts and information literacy, conducted by Lori Townsend, Amy Hofer, Silvia Lu, and Korey Brunetti, see http://www.ilthresholdconcepts.com/. Lori Townsend, Korey Brunetti, and Amy R. Hofer. “Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 11, no. 3 (2011): 853–69.

5. Knowledge practices are the proficiencies or abilities that learners develop as a result of their comprehending a threshold concept.

6. Generally, a disposition is a tendency to act or think in a particular way. More specifically, a disposition is a cluster of preferences, attitudes, and intentions, as well as a set of capabilities that allow the preferences to become realized in a particular way. Gavriel Salomon. “To Be or Not to Be (Mindful).” Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Meetings, New Orleans, LA, 1994.

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Guidelines & Standards for Information Literacy in Higher Education, 2000, now rescinded

Below is a summary of the guidelines developed by the ACRL Standards Committee and approved by the ACRL Board of Directors in January 2000. They were rescinded by the ACRL Board of Directors in June 2016 and are no longer in force.

Standards
1. The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
2. The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
3. The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or  
     her knowledge base and value system.
4. The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific  
     purpose.
5. The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information
    and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.