Constructing Knowledge in the Health Sciences: 
A Range of Possibilities

Library Instruction West 2016


The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards, which precede the Information Literacy Framework, are largely skill-based. Though it was likely not the intention, they are also usually presented and conceptualized linearly. 

ACRL Information Literacy Standards 

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.
Alternatively, the Information Literacy Framework provides greater context for information literacy and how it bolsters education and research. Students are afforded a more intellectual, constructivist approach to information, rather than one based on specific skills and outcomes. Thus, students' understanding of and relationship to information becomes more natural, progressive, and applicable beyond the context of library instruction. Students are also encouraged to be content creators, not just consumers, and to contribute to the information landscape by challenging traditional ideas of authority and scholarship. 


Erin Wimmer, MA, MLIS 
is the Teaching and Learning Librarian at Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah.

Kerri Shaffer Carter, MLIS, MEd is the Director of Education at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
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