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Information Literacy Faculty Toolkit: Framework

Information Literacy Standards

Below you will find links to the Information Literacy Standards published in 2000 by the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). These are widely used information literacy standards for higher education and correspond to the University's existing stated outcomes.

Clicking on the links below will provide you with outcomes and practices for meeting each standard.

  • Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
  • Standard 2: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
  • Standard 3: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
  • Standard 4: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  • Standard 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


These standards can work concurrently with the ACRL's new Information Literacy Framework, introduced in February 2015.

Information Literacy Framework

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) approved the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in February 2015. This framework expands on the standards and "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." (ACRL) 

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:

  1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  2. Information Creation as a Process
  3. Information Has Value
  4. Research as Inquiry
  5. Scholarship as Conversation
  6. Searching as Strategic Exploration

Librarians at many institutions are collaborating with faculty to identify how best to apply the Framework to local curriculum and mission. For updates, community feedback, and a shared "toolbox" of assignments, assessments, and curriculum examples, please visit the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education Wordpress site.

Frame - 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.”

Frame - 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.

Frame - 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.

Frame - 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.

Frame - 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.

Frame - 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.

Web Resources

  • ACRL Framework Site
    Updates, community feedback, and a shared "toolbox" of assignments, assessments, and curriculum examples.
  • IL Threshold Concepts Site
    A collection of research and resources on IL frameworks from Korey Brunetti (City College of San Francisco), Amy R. Hofer (Coordinator, Statewide Open Education Library Services at Linn-Benton Community College), Silvia Lin Hanick (LaGuardia Community College), and Lori Townsend (University Libraries at the University of New Mexico).
  • Alignment Chart for ACRL Standards and Framework
    A chart that shows correlation between the ACRL Info Lit Standards and the Threshold Concepts in the ACRL Info Lit Framework. From: Hovious, Amanda. “Alignment Charts for ACRL Standards and Proposed Framework.” Google Docs, January 23, 2015.
  • CARLI Toolkit
    The CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) Instruction Showcase has offered academic librarians from Illinois the opportunity to share tips, tricks, and techniques they have used in library instruction. This Toolkit maps those instructional activities taught at the CARLI Instruction Showcase to the Framework, with the hopes that instruction librarians can use these presentations as resources for creating and/or re-imagining their own library instruction to accord with the Frames.