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Information Literacy Faculty Toolkit: Information Literacy Framework

This toolkit provides you with the most valuable resources for integrating information literacy into your class curriculum.

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

The Framework for Information Literacy is a guiding document for librarians and academics interested in information literacy. It is based on the pedagogical theory of threshold concepts, defined as those ideas in any discipline that are passageways or portals to enlarged understanding or ways of thinking and practicing within that discipline.

The Framework is organized into six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices and a set of dispositions.

Knowledge practices are demonstrations of ways in which learners can increase their understanding of information literacy concepts, while dispositions describe ways in which to address the affective, attitudinal, or valuing dimension of learning.

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education - ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries), 2015

PDF version

Characteristiscs of a Threshold Concept

  • Transformative – once understood, it causes a significant shift in the perception of a subject.
  • Irreversible – unlikely to be forgotten or unlearned.
  • Integrative – once understood exposes hidden relationships with other ideas.
  • Possibly bounded – they demarcate boundaries between disciplinary areas.
  • Troublesome – difficult for students to understand.

Previous Standards

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Association of College and Research Libraries, 2000.


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.

Denison Libraries, 100 W College, Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: 740-587-6235, email:
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