Update from the ACRL Board of Directors on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

At the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, the ACRL Board of Directors took action to formally adopt the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We recognize that our action of filing the document last year has caused confusion and want to make it clear this is a formal ACRL document.

Much has happened since the Board first took action on the Framework at Midwinter 2015. Many of you have spent the last year learning about, and experimenting with, the new Framework, sharing your stories with colleagues at meetings, workshops, and on social media. A number of you are writing about the Framework, including scholarly works.

It is clear that the Framework has been embraced by a great many of you.

The Board also affirmed its intent to make a decision on the status of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, according to the timeline established at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

The new Framework document remains a framework, not a standard, so that it can move forward as a dynamic, living document with great flexibility and potential. The Information Literacy Frameworks and Standards Committee is drafting a definition for frameworks, similar to those for standards and guidelines, for Chapter 14 of ACRL’s Guide to Policies and Procedures as part of an overall review and revision outlined in their 2015-2016 Work Plan.

We also know that some of you recognize the value of the Framework but believe it pairs well with a set of standards for purposes of assessment. We understand that some of you are now using both documents concurrently while others are making inroads in new ways of assessment which are promising in terms of disciplinary and institutional alignment and collaborations.

The ACRL Board acknowledges there could be room for a standards-like document, developed as a companion to the Framework and in recognition of the current educational and information environment and the need to create outcomes and assessments at the local level. The use of the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as an umbrella document for the library’s role in institutional assessment and accreditation needs to be further defined and understood.

ACRL fully supports the development of resources to support librarians in their understanding and use of the Framework. Sharon Mader was hired in February 2015 as the ACRL Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy. In this role she is working with the Framework Advisory Board (appointed in July 2015) and other member leaders to create professional development resources and opportunities to assist librarians in understanding how they can use the Framework and contribute to its growth.

Development of an online sandbox is underway. The sandbox will provide an organized and collaborative space for librarians to share examples of Framework use and practice, with a launch anticipated for late spring / early summer 2016. In the interim, the Framework for Information Literacy WordPress site is gathering resources on the use of the Framework. An “example of the week” will be added in the next month and you may want to check out the “spotlight on scholarship” which highlights scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

Ann Campion Riley, ACRL President
Irene M.H. Herold, ACRL Vice-President
Karen Williams, ACRL Past President