ACRL releases Disciplinary Applications of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts

For Immediate Release
Mon, 11/27/2017


Erin Nevius

Content Strategist


CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Disciplinary Applications of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts” edited by Samantha Godbey, Susan Beth Wainscott, and Xan Goodman. In 25 chapters divided into sections mirroring ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education — Authority is Constructed and Contextual, Information Creation as a Process, Information has Value, Research as Inquiry, Scholarship as Conversation, and Searching as Strategic Exploration — "Disciplinary Applications of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts" explores threshold concepts as an idea and the specifics of what the concepts contained in the Framework look like in disciplinary contexts.

The definition of threshold concepts has been expanded over the years based on the work of many educational scholars and practitioners, but are essentially described as a portal, transition, or threshold to additional learning and deeper understanding for a learner. Threshold concepts are transformative, integrative, irreversible, bounded, and troublesome, and can be a valuable tool in both facilitating students’ understanding of their subject and aiding in curriculum development within the disciplines.

"Disciplinary Applications of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts" provides a balance of theoretical and practical to help readers both conceptually and pragmatically with their work in supporting student learning, including chapters in which librarians have designed learning outcomes aligned with the frames of the Framework. These examples demonstrate different approaches to working with information literacy threshold concepts and how librarians are incorporating them within their disciplinary and institutional contexts. The chapters cover many disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences, and a range of students, from first-year undergraduates to doctoral students. As Ray Land says in the Foreword, “This volume marks a significant new departure in the development of the threshold concepts analytic framework.”

“Disciplinary Applications of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts” is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 10,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.