What is the Sandbox?  

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox allows for searching, browsing, and contributing to a repository of materials related to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. It serves as a resource for librarians seeking to engage the Framework in their instructional practice, by providing access to materials created by those in the field. Materials made available in the Sandbox address the Framework, and include information about the context in which they were created and used. The Sandbox offers evidence of the Framework’s impact on the work of information literacy instructors, researchers, and learners. The target audience of the Sandbox is librarians and academic partners seeking lesson plans, instructional materials, professional development, and research on understanding and using the Framework within the classroom setting and on the programmatic level.  

Using the Sandbox  

The Sandbox offers open searching for everyone – no login is required. The Sandbox can be used to:

  • Search for ideas and examples for how to use the Framework in specific instructional contexts

  • Find lesson plans and other instructional materials for incorporating use of the Framework in your teaching

  • Identify potential collaborators for projects related to the Framework  

The Sandbox contents consist of resources contributed by librarians and other educational partners who are engaged in the use of the Framework in their instructional practice. Users can search for resources in a variety of ways, including resource type (e.g., lesson plan, worksheet, etc.), information literacy frames addressed, discipline, type of institution, scope (e.g., classroom or program level), and contributor name and institution.    

Everyone is invited to contribute resources, which can be done by creating a contributor account. Contributors can then upload as many Framework-related resources as they wish, along with attachments and links. 

Sandbox Development Group

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox is made possible with funding from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Instruction Section (IS). Created and launched in 2016, the ACRL Sandbox development team included Sharon Mader, ACRL Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy; and Donna Witek and Susan Miller, ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Advisory Board members, with help from other members of the Framework Advisory Board, and members of the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee. The site was created and designed in collaboration with The Cherry Hill Company

Ongoing coordination and monitoring of the Sandbox is provided by the Sandbox site administrators. Future development and improvements will be informed by analysis of use and input from users. 

What is the Framework? 

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is based on a cluster of interconnected core concepts with flexible options for implementation, rather than on a set of standards or learning outcomes, or any prescriptive enumeration of skills. At the heart of the Framework are conceptual understandings that organize many other concepts and ideas about information, research, and scholarship into a coherent whole. These conceptual understandings are informed by the Understanding by Design work of Wiggins and McTighe, by threshold concepts, and by metaliteracy. 

The Framework is organized into six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions. The six concepts that anchor the frames are:  

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

  • Information Creation as a Process

  • Information Has Value

  • Research as Inquiry

  • Scholarship as Conversation

  • Searching as Strategic Exploration 

The Framework was recommended to the ACRL Board of Directors in February 2015, and adopted by the ACRL Board of Directors in January 2016. The Framework is a tool for guiding the development of information literacy programs within higher education institutions while promoting discussion about the nature of key concepts in information literacy. The Framework will help librarians contextualize and integrate information literacy for their institutions, and encourages a deeper understanding of what knowledge practices and dispositions characterize the learner developing their information literate abilities.