Faculty Information Guide: Collaboration around InfoLit

Faculty-Librarian Collaboration to Incorporate Information Literacy Into the Curriculum


Librarians are ready to work with faculty on how to best incorporate information literacy into their curriculum.

Faculty can lead their own information literacy instruction if they prefer. Including librarians in their plan is essential so that library staff understand faculty expectations for their students and can successfully support them in their class assignments as the faculty member would like.

Moreover, as faculty each have their specialized knowledge from their field, information literacy is an academic librarian's area of subject matter expertise: we can be valuable partners to work with faculty on how to effectively incorporate information literacy into your curriculum in a way that works for best for you and your students and leverages available library resources. This type of partner relationship also ensures that library staff have enough time to develop and deliver high-quality, responsive and relevant support to a faculty member and their students.

 

On this page, you will find information about:


What is Information Literacy?

The American Library Association defines information literacy as: 

"The set of abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning."

Information literacy is essential when searching for appropriate and credible sources, and more relevant than ever in today's era of "fake news" and "post-truth." Students need to be able to successfully discover, understand and interpret credible, authoritative and accurate sources of information both for their profession and personal well-being and development.

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What are the standards for information literacy?
(Hint: It's Frames now, not Standards)

The American Library Association (ALA) used to support five standards of information literacy in high education that encompassed the knowledge, skills and abilities students should be able to successfully demonstrate (2000). 

This changed in 2016 when ALA shifted away from encouraging use of the old Standards, to providing the Framework approach; ALA's Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) believed any successful movement in higher education around information literacy required "a richer, more complex set of core ideas" than the original, more rigid, systematic standards and their learning outcomes provided.

With the framework style to information literacy, institutions had greater flexibility with implementation by using a "cluster of interconnected core concepts" that could be better adapted to fit the needs and mission of the individual institution.

From the "Year Seven Peer Evaluation Report" (2018)

According to the self‐study, “Currently, there are no program, departmental, or institutional level requirements for incorporating library resources into the curriculum or individual courses. Former requirements were unilaterally removed by faculty governing bodies or dispensed with by departments.” The Evaluation Committee finds the need for a greater integration of library resources into classes. (p. 22).

The above is in response to "2.C.6 Faculty with teaching responsibilities, in partnership with library and information resources personnel, ensure that the use of library and information resources is integrated into the learning process."

Summary Comment Standard 2.C
The Evaluation Committee is concerned that there are not currently program, departmental of institutional level requirements for incorporating library resources into the curriculum or individual courses. (2.C.6) (p. 26).

The ACRL Framework 


The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is organized into six frames, each outlining a concept central to information literacy: "at the heart of this Framework are conceptual understandings that organize many other concepts and ideas about information, research, and scholarship into a coherent whole." (ACRL). 

These frames can be used for all students enrolled in higher education institutions, although there are specific information literacy standards or guidelines for certain groups (nursing, anthropology & sociology, teacher education, etc.).

The Framework is mentioned in brief below. For the full Framework, see http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.

The 6 Frames

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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.