Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: Gregory and Higgins’ “Reorienting an Information Literacy Program toward Social Justice” and Saunders’ “Connecting Information Literacy and Social Justice”

This month’s Spotlight on Framework Scholarship features two articles from the latest issue of Communications in Information Literacy, both focused on the Framework and social justice.

Both articles discuss the ALA core value of social responsibility and emphasize the contextuality and flexibilty of the Framework. The articles diverge in their approaches toward focusing on social justice: the first by working to draw explicit parallels between the Framework and existing documents, the second through proposing adding an additional social justice frame to the Framework.


Gregory, L., & Higgins, S. (2017). Reorienting an Information Literacy Program Toward Social Justice: Mapping the Core Values of Librarianship to the ACRL Framework. Communications in Information Literacy, 11(1), 42–54.

This article is authored by Lua Gregory, Humanities and First Year Experience Librarian, and Shana Higgins, Interdisciplinary & Area Studies Librarian and Library Instruction Coordinator from the University of Redlands in California. (,

When presented with the need to develop student learning outcomes, the centrality of critical considerations and social justice in Gregory and Higgins’ instruction program prompted them to examine the connections between ALA’s Core Values of Librarianship and the ACRL Framework. The authors detail some of the more explicit connections that they made between the Values and the Framework, as well as discuss the practical and philosophical difficulties surrounding assessment and outcome creation in relation to critical aims.


Saunders, L. (2017). Connecting Information Literacy and Social Justice: Why and How. Communications in Information Literacy, 11(1), 55–75.

The second article is from Laura Saunders, Associate Professor and Online Coordinator at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science. (

Saunders’ essay provides background on social justice as an established library value, focusing on information literacy as a human right and a crucial component of a functioning democracy. She emphasizes the need for reflective practice among librarians to identify and address the inherent biases in our systems. In the second half of the essay, Saunders provides background on the rationale for social justice not being incorporated as a standalone frame during the development of the Framework, and outlines a proposed version of a new social justice frame new frame including knowledge practices and dispositions to be considered for future iterations of the Framework.


The “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column is a regular post series highlighting scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.