This Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Framework) grows out of a belief that information literacy as an educational reform movement will realize its potential only through a richer, more complex set of core ideas. During the fifteen years since the publication of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education,1 academic librarians and their partners in higher education associations have developed learning outcomes, tools, and resources that some institutions have deployed to infuse information literacy concepts and skills into their curricula. However, the rapidly changing higher education environment, along with the dynamic and often uncertain information ecosystem in which all of us work and live, require new attention to be focused on foundational ideas about that ecosystem. Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically.
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:
Neither the knowledge practices nor the dispositions that support each concept are intended to prescribe what local institutions should do in using the Framework; each library and its partners on campus will need to deploy these frames to best fit their own situation, including designing learning outcomes. For the same reason, these lists should not be considered exhaustive. (Source: The American Library Association, ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards)
Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education provides a framework for assessing the information literate individual. It also extends the work of the American Association of School Librarians Task Force on Information Literacy Standards, thereby providing higher education an opportunity to articulate its information literacy competencies with those of K-12 so that a continuum of expectations develops for students at all levels. The competencies presented here outline the process by which faculty, librarians and others pinpoint specific indicators that identify a student as information literate. (Source: American Library Association, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education)
The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
1. The information literate student defines and articulates the need for
2. The information literate student identifies a variety of types and
formats of potential sources for information.
3. The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of
acquiring the needed information.
4. The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of
the information need.
The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
1. The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.
2. The information literate student constructs and implements effectively designed search strategies.
3. The information literate student retrieves information online or in
person using a variety of methods.
4. The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.
5. The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the
information and its sources.
The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
1. The information literate student summarizes the main ideas to be extracted
from the information gathered.
2. The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria
for evaluating both the information and its sources.
3. The information literate student synthesizes main ideas to construct
4. The information literate student compares new knowledge with prior
knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other
unique characteristics of the information.
5. The information literate student determines whether the new knowledge has an impact on the individual’s value system and takes steps to
6. The information literate student validates understanding and interpretation of the information through discourse with other individuals,
subject-area experts, and/or practitioners.
7. The information literate student determines whether the initial query
should be revised.
The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
1. The information literate student applies new and prior information to the
planning and creation of a particular product or performance.
2. The information literate student revises the development process for the
product or performance.
3. The information literate student communicates the product or performance effectively to others.
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.
1. The information literate student understands many of the ethical, legal and
socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology.
2. The information literate student follows laws, regulations, institutional
policies, and etiquette related to the access and use of information resources.
3. The information literate student acknowledges the use of information
sources in communicating the product or performance.