Based on City University of Seattle’s Academic Model and City University Learning Goal 3 (critical thinking and information literacy) the library instruction program develops graduates who “are able to find, access, evaluate, and use information in order to solve problems.” However, it is important to keep in mind that “advancing student understanding of information literacy involves many different strategies and many more promoters than the library and librarians” (Obst and Eshleman, 2015). Support for information literacy curricula from faculty and other university stakeholders is an essential part of meeting CityU’s learning goals. While our librarians teach across the university and are embedded in many courses, good information literacy concepts, strategies, and habits must be integrated, modeled, taught, and encouraged, even when librarians are not present.
Below you can find information on the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (2016) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which serves as a theoretical and pedagogical basis for higher education librarians and faculty teaching metaliteracy and critical thinking skills.
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.
We recommend that all faculty familiarize themselves with the ACRL Framework and work towards incorporating these concepts into their instruction sessions and assignments, as well as create wider conversations with their students about scholarship and information literacy.
If faculty have any questions about these information literacy concepts or would like guidance on how to incorporate these knowledge practices into their teaching, they can reach out to the library for help.
Association of College and Research Libraries. (2016). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
Obst, J. and Eshleman, J. (2015). Librarians and students: Making the connections. In Jagman, H. and Swanson, T. A. (Eds.), Not just where to click: Teaching students how to think about information. (pp. 293-309). ACRL. https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/not-just-where-click-teaching-students-how-think-about-information-pil-68
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