For immediate release | March 26, 2013

New ACRL white paper: 'Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy'

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of a new white paper, “Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment,” written by a working group of leaders from many areas of the association.

This white paper explores and articulates three intersections between scholarly communication and information literacy:

  1. economics of the distribution of scholarship (including access to scholarship, the changing nature of scholarly publishing and the education of students to be knowledgeable content consumers and content creators);
  2. digital literacies (including teaching new technologies and rights issues and the emergence of multiple types of non-textual content); and
  3. our changing roles (including the imperative to contribute to the building of new infrastructures for scholarship, and deep involvement with creative approaches to teaching).

“These intersections indicate areas of strategic realignment for academic librarians so that our libraries can be resilient in the face of tremendous change in the scholarly information environment,” said Barbara DeFelice, past chair of the ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee and director of the digital resources and scholarly communication programs at the Dartmouth College Library.

After elaborating on each intersection, the paper provides strategies for librarians from different backgrounds to initiate collaborations within their own campus environments between information literacy and scholarly communication. Erin Ellis, head of libraries instructional services at the University of Kansas and chair of ACRL’s Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee, noted that, “developing new collaborations between information literacy and scholarly communication programs is an important strategic response to the changing academic environment.”

After articulating these intersections and exploring core responses, the paper recommends four objectives, with actions for each, that could be taken by ACRL, other academic library organizations, individual libraries and library leaders. The overarching recommendations are:

  1. integrate pedagogy and scholarly communication into educational programs for librarians to achieve the ideal of information fluency;
  2. develop new model information literacy curricula, incorporating evolutions in pedagogy and scholarly communication issues;
  3. explore options for organizational change; and
  4. promote advocacy.

“We feel that these objectives will support libraries in becoming more resilient in the face of the changing digital information environment,” said Kevin Smith, chair of ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee and director of copyright and scholarly communication at Duke University.

This white paper is issued as both a downloadable PDF and an interactive online format. Readers are encouraged to add comments and reactions in order to help further the conversation. 

This white paper complements the recently published ACRL book “Common Ground at the Nexus of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication” edited by Stephanie Davis-Kahl and Merinda Kaye Hensley.

Please join ACRL leaders for a conversation about the white paper and the exciting changes these intersections bring to our work during a panel presentation at the upcoming ACRL 2013 conference from 8:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m on Friday, April 12, in Indianapolis.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free

Mktg & Comm. Specialist/Editor-in-Chief

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)

1-800-545-2433 ext.2517