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Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: Gregory and Higgins’ “Reorienting an Information Literacy Program toward Social Justice” and Saunders’ “Connecting Information Literacy and Social Justice”

July 24, 2017 - 7:25am

This month’s Spotlight on Framework Scholarship features two articles from the latest issue of Communications in Information Literacy, both focused on the Framework and social justice.

Both articles discuss the ALA core value of social responsibility and emphasize the contextuality and flexibilty of the Framework. The articles diverge in their approaches toward focusing on social justice: the first by working to draw explicit parallels between the Framework and existing documents, the second through proposing adding an additional social justice frame to the Framework.


Gregory, L., & Higgins, S. (2017). Reorienting an Information Literacy Program Toward Social Justice: Mapping the Core Values of Librarianship to the ACRL Framework. Communications in Information Literacy, 11(1), 42–54.

This article is authored by Lua Gregory, Humanities and First Year Experience Librarian, and Shana Higgins, Interdisciplinary & Area Studies Librarian and Library Instruction Coordinator from the University of Redlands in California. (,

When presented with the need to develop student learning outcomes, the centrality of critical considerations and social justice in Gregory and Higgins’ instruction program prompted them to examine the connections between ALA’s Core Values of Librarianship and the ACRL Framework. The authors detail some of the more explicit connections that they made between the Values and the Framework, as well as discuss the practical and philosophical difficulties surrounding assessment and outcome creation in relation to critical aims.


Saunders, L. (2017). Connecting Information Literacy and Social Justice: Why and How. Communications in Information Literacy, 11(1), 55–75.

The second article is from Laura Saunders, Associate Professor and Online Coordinator at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science. (

Saunders’ essay provides background on social justice as an established library value, focusing on information literacy as a human right and a crucial component of a functioning democracy. She emphasizes the need for reflective practice among librarians to identify and address the inherent biases in our systems. In the second half of the essay, Saunders provides background on the rationale for social justice not being incorporated as a standalone frame during the development of the Framework, and outlines a proposed version of a new social justice frame new frame including knowledge practices and dispositions to be considered for future iterations of the Framework.


The “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column is a regular post series highlighting scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

What’s Next as the Framework Advisory Board’s Term Ends

June 30, 2017 - 4:15am

The two-year term of the Framework Advisory Board (FAB), which was tasked with developing resources for professional development in support of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, has come to an end. At ALA Midwinter 2017, the ACRL Board of Directors took action to further integrate these resources into the fabric of ACRL: beginning in July 2017, the new home for FAB’s priority projects will be the Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee (SLILC). SLILC is one of four ACRL goal-area committees that work to advance the strategic priorities articulated in the ACRL Plan for Excellence.

The Framework priority projects include the ACRL Framework Sandbox, the ACRL Framework Toolkit, and the ACRL licensed workshop Engaging with the ACRL Framework: A Catalyst for Exploring and Expanding Our Teaching Practices.

In conjunction with this transition, the ACRL Board has also supported the appointment of former members of FAB to SLILC effective July 1, 2017. They will bring their knowledge and expertise to the work of SLILC to maintain and further develop these resources in support of the academic library community. Other resources that will accompany this transition to SLILC include the Framework discussion list and the Framework WordPress website.

By transitioning these Framework-related resources so that they are now under the purview of SLILC, the connection between the Framework and the ACRL’s strategic priority of student learning is evident.

FAB is grateful to the ACRL Board and the leadership of SLILC for bringing our work under the umbrella of the goal area committee for student learning. Those of us who are continuing to serve on SLILC in support of these resources are excited to embark on this next phase of the association’s work in supporting the Framework.

Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: Corrall’s “Crossing the threshold”

June 20, 2017 - 9:06am

Corrall, S. (2017). Crossing the threshold: reflective practice in information literacy development. Journal of Information Literacy, 11(1), 23.

Welcome back to the ACRL Framework Spotlight on Scholarship! This week’s featured article comes to us from Sheila Corrall, Professor, Department of Information Culture & Data Stewardship at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing & Information, and previously Professor & Chair in Librarianship and Information Management at the iSchool, University of Sheffield, UK.

In this article, Corrall explores the idea of reflective practice in relation to threshold concepts, of which Meyer and Land’s theory was central to the development of the Framework. She cites the emphasis on critical self-reflection in the Framework as an impetus (among others) for her exploration of the subject.

Corrall explores the challenges presented by the myriad approaches to reflection, both as pedagogical practice and as practitioner self-reflection. She provides an in-depth look into different theories, definitions, practices, meanings, and outcomes of reflection and reflective practice through an exploration of several models. Tracing from Dewey to the present, Corrall works through educational theory up through recent literature related to information literacy and critical information literacy.

Corrall offers an interesting discussion of the difference between threshold concepts and competencies as discussed by Meyer and Land. She draws a parallel between threshold competencies and professional competencies of librarians, suggesting that reflective practice is a threshold competency for teaching librarian practitioners. She proposes more research in ways to explore this notion and further development of reflection as a professional competence.

Prof. Corrall can be reached at

A side note from Sara: This anniversary issue of the Journal of Information Literacy is worth reading in its entirety, especially for those who may not be as familiar with the history and development of European and Australian models of information literacy and their impact on American thought, including the Framework.

The “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column is a regular post series highlighting scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Toolkit Launches

June 16, 2017 - 10:23am

The following update is cross-posted at ACRL Insider.

The ACRL Framework Advisory Board (FAB) is pleased to announce the launch of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Toolkit. The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Toolkit is intended as a freely available professional development resource that can be used and adapted by both individuals and groups in order to foster understanding and use of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The ACRL Framework Toolkit is available on the ACRL LibGuides site.

Librarians can use the ACRL Framework Toolkit resources in a variety of ways:  for their individual professional development needs; to form a community of practice with their colleagues around the Framework and information literacy; and to develop workshops and professional development opportunities in their libraries and also for local, regional, and state-level events and conferences.

The ACRL Framework Toolkit contains four modules: Finding Time to Engage the Framework, The Framework’s Structure, Foundations of the Framework, and Strategies for Using the Framework. A fifth module, Collaboration and Conversations with the Framework, is currently in development.  Each module includes essential questions, learning outcomes, and active learning resources such as guided reading activities, discussion prompts, and lists of key readings.

Please direct any questions to FAB Chair Donna Witek at