The New Information Literacy Framework and Community Colleges

Last week, ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force released a partial draft of a new Framework for Information Literacy. This Framework is a move away from the “old” (existing) standards and toward a more adaptable (and I think realistic) understanding of information literacy. (For the record, I am a member of this committee but I do not speak on behalf of the committee here.) I offered some comments about the Framework on the Tame The Web blog, but I wanted to write something directed toward community college librarians here.

The new Framework will be developed through dialog between Task Force members, ACRL members, and the wider higher education community. At each stage of the process, drafts will be shared and opened up for public comment. It is important that community college librarians review the drafts and offer input which will be used to guide the process. We must be part of the process.

One of the challenges that the Task Force faces is to create a document that is meaningful across the entire spectrum of higher education. US higher education is amazingly diverse. As a subset of higher education, there is even a great deal of diversity within US community colleges.

With that being said, community college librarians must be part of the process, and we must be prepared to adapt the results of the process to meet our needs. I worry that some parts of the Framework will feel like they are aimed at bachelors-granting institutions, but they are not. Each threshold concept has implications and meaning for all areas of our curricula. One of the advantages of the new framework is that is does not attempt to outline strict standards. It does not write outcomes for your institution. It is really a document of potential attributes and dispositions that are intended to be molded to the needs of the local campus.

As this Framework grows and develops over time, our job will be to think about how it connects to community colleges. How do the defined threshold concepts change for underprepared students? How do we translate them for career programs? How do we utilize them to prepare our transfer students?

In the world if R. David Lankes, “True learning happens when books and friends, writing and understanding intermingle in a rich soup of participation.”

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3 thoughts on “The New Information Literacy Framework and Community Colleges

  1. Yes, please get a copy of the framework, read it and reply. They don’t know what we want if we don’t tell them, and we really can’t complain if we keep quiet and then we don’t like the final product.

  2. Pingback: Draft Framework for Information Literacy: Some Thoughts | Two-Year Talk

  3. “I worry that some parts of the Framework will feel like they are aimed at bachelors-granting institutions, but they are not.”
    The first two times I read the FILHE draft, I felt excluded from the intended higher ed audience. (I had not been drinking, nor had I been watching my soaps.) I’m willing to admit that I was the limiting factor–that I could not or would not extrapolate the threshold concepts and relate them to, say, vocational programs or developmental ed–but I do wonder if other librarians (e.g. the community college ilk) feel underrepresented or at least far removed from the innovations described in the FILHE draft. I’m just now reaching the point where I feel comfortable articulating my thoughts about the Framework. I’ll be sure to provide my input to the task force, chime in on Twitter, and stalk my favorite bloggers. (hiiiiii troy…)
    If we remain silent because we are afraid of being perceived as being outdated, ignorant, or irrelevant, how will we pluck up the courage to make the more important changes that FILHE calls for? Bootstraps, ladies and gents.

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