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Library Instruction: Framework for Information Literacy

Learn about Viterbo University's library instruction program, and then schedule a session.

Framework for Information Literacy

The Framework for Information Literacy is a guiding document for librarians and academics interested in information literacy.  It is based on the pedagogical theory of threshold concepts, defined as those ideas in any discipline that are passageways or portals to enlarged understanding or ways of thinking and practicing within that discipline.

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:

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

For more information on each frame, see the "Framework in Detail" on this page, or visit 

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

 

Framework in Detail

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.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • define different types of authority, such as subject expertise (e.g., scholarship), societal position (e.g., public office or title), or special experience (e.g., participating in a historic event);
  • use research tools and indicators of authority to determine the credibility of sources, understanding the elements that might temper this credibility;
  • understand that many disciplines have acknowledged authorities in the sense of well-known scholars and publications that are widely considered “standard,” and yet, even in those situations, some scholars would challenge the authority of those sources;
  • recognize that authoritative content may be packaged formally or informally and may include sources of all media types;
  • acknowledge they are developing their own authoritative voices in a particular area and recognize the responsibilities this entails, including seeking accuracy and reliability, respecting intellectual property, and participating in communities of practice;
  • understand the increasingly social nature of the information ecosystem where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time.

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.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • articulate the capabilities and constraints of information developed through various creation processes;
  • assess the fit between an information product’s creation process and a particular information need;
  • articulate the traditional and emerging processes of information creation and dissemination in a particular discipline;
  • recognize that information may be perceived differently based on the format in which it is packaged;
  • recognize the implications of information formats that contain static or dynamic information;
  • monitor the value that is placed upon different types of information products in varying contexts;
  • transfer knowledge of capabilities and constraints to new types of information products;
  • develop, in their own creation processes, an understanding that their choices impact the purposes for which the information product will be used and the message it conveys.

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.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation;
  • understand that intellectual property is a legal and social construct that varies by culture;
  • articulate the purpose and distinguishing characteristics of copyright, fair use, open access, and the public domain;
  • understand how and why some individuals or groups of individuals may be underrepresented or systematically marginalized within the systems that produce and disseminate information;
  • recognize issues of access or lack of access to information sources;
  • decide where and how their information is published;
  • understand how the commodification of their personal information and online interactions affects the information they receive and the information they produce or disseminate online;
  • make informed choices regarding their online actions in full awareness of issues related to privacy and the commodification of personal information.

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.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • formulate questions for research based on information gaps or on reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting, information;
  • determine an appropriate scope of investigation;
  • deal with complex research by breaking complex questions into simple ones, limiting the scope of investigations;
  • use various research methods, based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry;
  • monitor gathered information and assess for gaps or weaknesses;
  • organize information in meaningful ways;
  • synthesize ideas gathered from multiple sources;
  • draw reasonable conclusions based on the analysis and interpretation of information.

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.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • cite the contributing work of others in their own information production;
  • contribute to scholarly conversation at an appropriate level, such as local online community, guided discussion, undergraduate research journal, conference presentation/poster session;
  • identify barriers to entering scholarly conversation via various venues;
  • critically evaluate contributions made by others in participatory information environments;
  • identify the contribution that particular articles, books, and other scholarly pieces make to disciplinary knowledge;
  • summarize the changes in scholarly perspective over time on a particular topic within a specific discipline;
  • recognize that a given scholarly work may not represent the only or even the majority perspective on the issue.

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.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • determine the initial scope of the task required to meet their information needs;
  • identify interested parties, such as scholars, organizations, governments, and industries, who might produce information about a topic and then determine how to access that information;
  • utilize divergent (e.g., brainstorming) and convergent (e.g., selecting the best source) thinking when searching;
  • match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools;
  • design and refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on search results;
  • understand how information systems (i.e., collections of recorded information) are organized in order to access relevant information;
  • use different types of searching language (e.g., controlled vocabulary, keywords, natural language) appropriately;
  • manage searching processes and results effectively.

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Librarian Contact

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Jodi Hilleshiem
Contact:
Todd Wehr Memorial Library
815 Viterbo Court
La Crosse, WI 54601
608-796-3278