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Standards at a Crossroads

September 9, 2013

ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education – commonly referred to as “the Standards” – are under review and revision.  The Pennsylvania Library Association Bulletin recently published a brief article in the “It’s Academic” column about these coming changes (vol. 68, issue 3, page 8.)

The PaLA College & Research Division wants to hear from you.  What are your thoughts on the existing Standards?  What would you like to see in the new information literacy guidelines?  What portions of the Standards would you like to see carried over to the new?  Which of the Standards have you found to be most challenging to teach, and how could that concept be improved upon for the new guidelines?


2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2013 11:50 pm

    Trudi Jacobson, Craig Gibson, and Ellysa Stern Cahoy provided more background on the proposed changes at the PA Forward Information Literacy Summit held July 24th at Penn State. Ellysa was chair of the initial Review Task Force that recommended ACRL extensively revise the standards, and Craig and Trudi are the co-chairs of the current Task Force charged with updating the standards. Their entire presentation has been archived on the IL Summit website: (just jump ahead to 1.25.34 on the recording to view) .

    Steven Bell blogged about the process so far and posted links to the relevant memos and recommendations here: My sense is that the Task Force wants to give as many people an opportunity to provide feedback, not just at ALA but also online. More to come…

  2. Paul Proces permalink
    September 10, 2013 2:27 pm

    For me, I’m happy to see a revision as I believe the current standards are too dryly pie-in-the-sky. I would love to see the new standards incorporate the insights of John Budd and Char Booth and get away from a linear model toward a more realistic model of research. I also would love to see the Standards incorporate research for the Dept of Ed. by Kurfiss decades ago: our students in HE are starting a process of intellectual development and the standards should recognize that freshmen and sophomores may not have the intellectual maturity to get the gray of copyright law. And if I’m really really dreaming, I wouldn’t mind recognition that different types of minds will interact with the Standards differently. It seems odd that we wouldn’t recognize the challenging pieces for pattern thinkers vs. math/music since the neuroscience research is getting quite compelling and we can now safely do away with the old guesses (kinesthetic, visual, auditory, etc.) That said, I don’t envy these folks their job. There is a LOT to consider.

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