Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Information Literacy and Instruction

Resources and tips about information literacy, critical thinking, and how faculty can incorporate these concepts into their courses.

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was officially adopted by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) board in June 2016. The Framework was developed as an update to the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education which were rescinded with the adoption of the Framework.

The Framework was designed taking into consideration the evolving, complex information ecosystem. The Framework consists of a set of core ideas, or frames, central to information literacy.

The concepts, knowledge practices, and dispositions included in the Framework are useful to librarians, faculty, and curriculum designers when incorporating information literacy into programs, courses, and assignments.

The six frames included below are the core concepts of the Framework. Each frame includes a definition as well as practice areas and definitions. 

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."

Full definition, knowledge practices, and dispositions of this frame are available on the ACRL website.


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."

Full definition, knowledge practices, and dispositions of this frame are available on the ACRL website.


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."

Full definition, knowledge practices, and dispositions of this frame are available on the ACRL website.


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."

Full definition, knowledge practices, and dispositions of this frame are available on the ACRL website.


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."

Full definition, knowledge practices, and dispositions of this frame are available on the ACRL website.


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."

Full definition, knowledge practices, and dispositions of this frame are available on the ACRL website.