20 Pages

Collaborating to Advance Curriculum-Based Information Literacy Initiatives: Austin Booth, Carole Ann Fabian

Academic librarians are actively exploring a variety of models to advance the integration of information literacy standards into academic programs, including credit-bearing “stand-alone” information literacy courses and curriculum-integrated models. Definitions of information literacy (IL) abound in the literatures of academic librarianship and higher education. Useful summaries of a variety of these definitions can be found on the Institute for Information Literacy Web pages.1 In working with teaching faculty and academic administrators, we have found that broad, contextual statements that tie together both the concerns of libraries and other higher education constituencies are the most useful for initiating productive campus-wide dialogues. In “Information Literacy as a Liberal Art,” Jeremy Shapiro and Shelley Hughes provide such a definition: “In its narrowest sense information literacy includes the practical skills involved in effective use of information technology and information resources, either print or electronic. Information literacy is a new liberal art which extends beyond technical skills and is conceived as the critical reflection on the nature of information itself, its technical infrastructure and its social, cultural and even philosophical context and impact.”2 Shapiro and Hughes go on to expand upon their definition of information literacy as a liberal art; they cite tool literacy, resource literacy, social-structural literacy, research literacy, and publishing literacy as critical goals of an information literacy program-five competencies that not only directly parallel the ACRL Information Literacy Standards,3 but link the ACRL standards to typical higher-education goals.