Keeping Up With... Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

ACRL Framework

This edition of Keeping Up With… was written by Karen A. Williams.

Karen A. Williams is is 2014-15 ACRL President and Dean of University Libraries at the University of Arizona. email:


The ACRL Board of Directors would like to thank everyone joining in the scholarly discourse around the proposed new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This is the kind of dialogue in which colleagues participate in the creation of new knowledge and understanding; and the outcomes from this process will be much richer for having so many thoughtful voices contribute.

Developing the Proposed Framework

As many of you know, the current Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education were adopted by ACRL in 2000, and, after a regular cyclical review, the ACRL Board approved a unanimous recommendation in June 2012 that they be a significantly revised. A new Task Force charged with that undertaking has been working for nearly two years and following ACRL’s process for review of standards, sent its final work to the ACRL Information Literacy Standards Committee on January 5, 2015. The IL Standards Committee met virtually and approved the proposed Framework, sending it on to the ACRL Standards Committee. They, too, met virtually and approved the document, sending it to the ACRL Board of Directors for our consideration.

Moving Forward at Midwinter

On behalf of the Board I’d like to summarize the process going forward. The ACRL Standards Committee has submitted a Board of Directors Action Form that includes an overview of the work of the Task Force and four recommendations for action. The form, together with a transmittal sheet outlining the process for vetting the Framework, and the final Framework document itself, is available on the Task Force website. The Task Force meets with the Board during our first Midwinter meeting on Saturday afternoon, January 31, from 4-5 p.m. at the Sheraton Chicago, Ontario Room. As always, the Board meeting is open to all. We will begin by engaging in a conversation and we may or may not reach the stage of taking action.

There is an open microphone session immediately following the Framework conversation on Saturday afternoon from 5-5:30 p.m. and interested individuals are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to share thoughts with the Board. Guests are invited to address the Board for up to three minutes (time may be adjusted to accommodate demand). Guests are to complete an “open mic request to speak form” and submit it via the ACRL staff. I will invite guests to speak and staff will keep time.

If you’ve ever attended a Board meeting before you’ll notice a departure from the traditional room arrangement on Saturday afternoon. The Board is experimenting with an arrangement of round tables to create a more comfortable atmosphere and encourage a more conversational approach to Board interactions.

The ACRL Board meets a second time at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday afternoon, February 2, at the Sheraton Chicago, Sheraton Ballroom 1. There is time on the Board agenda for the Framework at 3:15–4:00 p.m.


The topic of the current IL Standards and the proposed new Framework is a very important one for ACRL and for the many students and faculty with whom we work on our campuses. As such, the Board will continue to spend time engaged in deep listening, open conversation, and thoughtful reflection. We have the utmost respect for the Task Force which has paid careful attention to more than a thousand pieces of input and revised the Framework based on your comments. We have the same respect for all of you who have taken the time to share your experiences and good thinking. We will consider all points of view, input, and recommendations before making any decisions. The Board strives to make the best decisions for the ACRL and higher education communities.