Document Type

Preprint

Abstract

In 1999, ACRL convened a national task force to draft Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. ACRL has recently launched a revision to those standards. The original standards were influential because they helped advance a national need in higher education at the time: a shift to outcomes based learning. Thirteen years later, information literacy stands alongside oral and written communication, critical thinking and ethical reasoning as learning outcomes broadly acknowledged as needing to be integrated, with disciplinary content, into the curriculum. This author believes that, in contrast to the first process, the current recommendations for revision are focused on the wrong question and include the wrong people to address it. Out of the eight recommendations in the task force report, seven focus on revising articulation of the learning outcomes and the eighth calls for better alignment with theAmerican Association of School Librarians’ Standards for the 21st Century Learner. It is time to let go of the rehashing and professional naval gazing and look ahead to address the issues that are most pressing in higher education now. The point isn't to further define, redefine and write more, less or different learning outcomes. There is little to gain in continuing the decades old “literacies “debate about whose are most important and which should be integrated into the curriculum. Labels do not matter! No organization or individual institution is going to accept detailed learning outcomes anyway. Information literacy as a phrase and as a set of learning outcomes are already integrated into a host of related skills, regardless of the label. The challenge now is to move ahead and address the current concerns of education reform: vertical integration with disciplinary knowledge, curriculum mapping, and assessment. There are a host of challenges and libraries and librarians are perfectly poised to help. I have moved on, so should ACRL.

Disciplines

Information Literacy | Library and Information Science


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