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Information Literacy: What is Information Literacy?

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the set of integrated 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.

ACRL Information Literacy Framework

The Association of College and Research Libraries has written a new system of gauging information literacy levels based on six frameworks. These frameworks describe concepts fundamental to an information literate individual in the 21st century.

Use the links below to find out more about each framework, see how it maps to the LEAP Standards, and find assignment ideas in each area.

The six frames are:

I. 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.

II.  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.

III. 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.

IV. 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.

V: Scholarship is a 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.

VI. Searching as Strategic Exploration 
Locating information requires a combination of inquiry, discovery, and serendipity.  There is no one size fits all source to find the needed information. Information discovery is nonlinear and iterative, requiring the use of a broad range of information sources and flexibility to pursuit alternate avenues as new understanding is developed.

Example of an Information Literacy Program