You’ve probably engaged with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education as you’ve worked on IL at your institution. It offers a comprehensive approach to developing IL skills in students as they move through their college careers.
In an ideal world, librarian and faculty cooperation would help students make solid gains in information literacy as they moved through semesters and years. In the real world, however, librarians are often the primary conveyors of IL work on campus, and as such, “a change in personnel [can] undo years of effort,” to quote Risë L. Smith’s "Philosophical Shift: Teach the Faculty to Teach Information Literacy." If Information Literacy efforts and development of critical thinking skills are a priority on campus, librarians cannot be the sole stakeholders in this work.
Smith advocates moving some of the responsibility for IL outside of the library’s hands, under the theory that the resulting faculty advocacy for IL will make it an institutional priority.
A focus on faculty is also central to Patricia Senn Breivik and E. Gordon Gee’s seminal Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library (New York: American Council on Education and Macmillan Publishing Company, 1989), which suggests that students might be better served by an overhaul of the way that administrations approach IL on campus.
What has been your experience in this regard? Should we “give away” IL to faculty? We’re discussing this, and more, in the InfoLit Learning Community.
And on March 8, join Dave Harmeyer and Janice J. Baskin as they discuss ideas for how to successfully implement the ACRL Framework at your institution in our second speaker presentation for the Credo InfoLit Learning Community. Find all the details here. Not a member of the community yet? Join the InfoLit Learning Community now.