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Core Academic Skills Faculty Pack: Information Literacy

A suite of resources for faculty teaching Information Literacy Intensive Courses.

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recently adopted the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education to more accurately reflect the interconnected concepts and practical applications of IL, and relate these concepts more directly to the broader college curriculum across departments and disciplines. These concepts now complement and scaffold upon the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, which have been the basis of much information literacy curriculum since their establishment in 2000.

  • The Frames are designed to actively engage students in the research process, are cross-curricular and non-linear. Students may encounter these concepts at varying points in their course of study (a departure from the traditional model of the sole “library instruction” session in a foundational course , usually ENG 101).
  • For faculty, the frames are intended to serve as a guideline and a springboard for thinking about information literacy in the context of their discipline. Concepts such as authority and purpose have different meanings and applications in the sciences, business, social sciences, and the humanities. The frames are broad enough to encompass and articulate these differences.

The Frames

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.


To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:

APA: Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page. Title of LibGuide. Retrieved from URL

MLA: Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.