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Information Literacy Guide for The New School Faculty

Information Literacy Definition

ACRL, the College and Research Library division of the American Library Association, recently (January 2015) revised their conception of information literacy, including its definition and competency standards.

The standards are more loosely defined than in the past. Rather than a strict prescription, the new standards are aptly titled a Framework: "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."

They new definition of 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."

 Source: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

New Framework

There are six concepts that make up the framework.

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 intentionally 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 broad range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding is developed.

Source: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

Guidelines from Middle States Commission on Higher Education