Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 7, No 2 (2013)

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Time for a Paradigm Shift: The New ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Marcus Banks

Abstract


Academic librarians should expand our understanding of what counts as an authoritative resource, and be unafraid to challenge long-established wisdom in this domain. Wikipedia is far from perfect, but neither is the Encyclopedia Britannica. Wikipedia is updated daily, while the Britannica is no longer printed. If we cling to the Britannica as a symbol of authoritativeness, we will become obsolete ourselves.
One way to prevent this fate is to reframe our collective thinking. In 2014 the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) will issue a revised version of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The task force shepherding this revision (ACRL, 2012) argues that the standards “should not be reapproved as they exist but should be extensively revised” (pg. 1). This is because the Internet has profoundly altered the ways in which we create, share, analyze and validate information. To be credible, the new ACRL standards must take full account of this change.

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