Tips for Serving as an Information Literacy Consultant

ACRL has a constellation of documents on information literacy; you may also find the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education of interest.

Information Literacy Standards Committee

Association of College and Research Libraries

May 1, 2008; Revised March 23, 2010


The Information Literacy (IL) Consultant will assist a Section with the development of subject-specific information literacy standards that meet core criteria and have sound content related to information literacy and educational outcomes.


Names and brief information about IL Consultants will be posted on a web page hosted by the Information Literacy Standards Committee (ILSC). Sections developing standards will consult the web page and contact IL Consultants to confirm their interest and availability. The IL Consultant will notify the ILSC chair once they have agreed to work with a Section.


After the IL Consultant has been assigned to work with a Section, representatives from the ILSC will provide any needed information, including this tip sheet and other relevant materials to the consultants and, if needed, will provide informal instruction on the process for the consultants. The Consultant is responsible for thoroughly learning the procedures outlined in "Tips for Developing Subject-Specific Information Literacy Standards" so as to be able to guide a Section through the process. The Consultant should also review the subject-specific information literacy standards that have gone through the approval process to become familiar with the range of ways the information might be presented. The Consultant should contact the ILSC representative with any questions about the process.

The Consultant will assist the Section in developing a timeline for the project, and will be expected to continue working with the Section through the entire process, which ends once the ACRL Board has approved the document.

Responsibilities of the Consultant

  • Use the “Checklist for Developing Subject-Specific Information Literacy Standards” to track the process and supply the appropriate Section members with the copy of the Checklist for their use.
  • Send a copy of "Tips for Developing Subject-Specific Information Literacy Standards" to the appropriate Section members.
  • Communicate to the Section committee working on the standard what relationship the subject-specific information literacy standard should have to the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. [see Parts 1A and 2 of "Developing Subject-Specific Information Literacy Standards"]
  • Review the Section’s drafts of subject-specific information literacy documents and provide feedback to the Section chair or chair of Section Committee responsible for the documents.
  • Send the Section a copy of the ACRL Standards and Accreditation Committee’s “Transmittal Sheet for Draft Standards and Guidelines” and verify that the Section completes it before submitting the Standards for review to the ILSC.
  • When the Section is ready to submit its documents for ILSC review, contact the ILSC representative with your confirmation that the documents are ready for review.
  • After the documents have been approved by ILSC and submitted by that committee to the SAC, send a short summary of your experience as a consultant to the ILSC Chair, indicating what worked well, not as well, and any concerns and recommendations you have about the process.

Authority of the Consultant

The Consultant is a resource and a guide, helping the Section by ensuring that the steps for developing subject-specific standards are followed carefully and that all the elements are included. The Consultant has no authority over the Section and cannot control how the subject-specific standards are created. If the Consultant believes that the process is going awry, he or she should contact the ILSC representative to discuss the issue.

The Consultant is not responsible for the final review of the standards document and recommendation to the ACRL Board.