ACRL Board Update on the Proposed Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

The ACRL Board of Directors would like to thank everyone joining in the scholarly discourse around the proposed new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This is the kind of dialogue in which colleagues participate in the creation of new knowledge and understanding; and the outcomes from this process will be much richer for having so many thoughtful voices contribute.

As many of you know, the current Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education were adopted by ACRL in 2000, and, after a regular cyclical review, the ACRL Board approved a unanimous recommendation in June 2012 that they be a significantly revised. A new Task Force charged with that undertaking has been working for nearly two years and following ACRL’s process for review of standards, sent its final work to the ACRL Information Literacy Standards Committee on January 5, 2015. The IL Standards Committee met virtually and approved the proposed Framework, sending it on to the ACRL Standards Committee. They, too, met virtually and approved the document, sending it to the ACRL Board of Directors for our consideration.

On behalf of the Board I’d like to summarize the process going forward. The ACRL Standards Committee has submitted a Board of Directors Action Form that includes an overview of the work of the Task Force and four recommendations for action. The form, together with a transmittal sheet outlining the process for vetting the Framework, and the final Framework document itself, is available on the Task Force website. The Task Force meets with the Board during our first Midwinter meeting on Saturday afternoon, January 31, from 4-5 p.m. at the Sheraton Chicago, Ontario Room. As always, the Board meeting is open to all. We will begin by engaging in a conversation and we may or may not reach the stage of taking action.

There is an open microphone session immediately following the Framework conversation on Saturday afternoon from 5-5:30 p.m. and interested individuals are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to share thoughts with the Board. If you’ve ever attended a Board meeting before you’ll notice a departure from the traditional room arrangement on Saturday afternoon. The Board is experimenting with an arrangement of round tables to create a more comfortable atmosphere and encourage a more conversational approach to Board interactions.

The ACRL Board meets a second time at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday afternoon, February 2, at the Sheraton Chicago, Sheraton Ballroom 1. There is time on the Board agenda for the Framework at 3:15–4:00 p.m.

The topic of the current IL Standards and the proposed new Framework is a very important one for ACRL and for the many students and faculty with whom we work on our campuses. As such, the Board will continue to spend time engaged in deep listening, open conversation, and thoughtful reflection. We have the utmost respect for the Task Force which has paid careful attention to more than a thousand pieces of input and revised the Framework based on your comments. We have the same respect for all of you who have taken the time to share your experiences and good thinking. We will consider all points of view, input, and recommendations before making any decisions. The Board strives to make the best decisions for the ACRL and higher education communities.

– Karen A. Williams, ACRL President


  1. I’ve had doubts about the Framework and a recently released side-by-side comparison with the Standards ( ) has confirmed those doubts as sincere dislike of the Framework. The wording, to begin with, alludes to intangible and implied concepts with no concrete or measurable reference. It looks to me, a former library school faculty member and currently a Dean in charge of an academic library, that this Framework represents an attempt to ditch learning outcomes and any ability to deal with professional accountability. The high flown phrases are empty and meaningless.

  2. I would have to agree with Norman; in many ways this reminds me of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s decision to publish without and index because everything could be found in the appropriate area of knowledge. Guess what within a year they had to publish that index because information professionals and patrons all found a need. Just a thought that seems to be supported by the fact that several people/groups have already constructed alignment charts for the framework.

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