Framing the Information Conversation: Framework v. Standards

It’s June 2016 and the ALA rescinded the Standards.  I’m writing primarily for this reason because here I am, a librarian, and this is the first time I’ve seen my professional community up-in-arms.  I’m lurking on the ACRL Framework listserv and have received over 50 e-mails in the past two days in which my peers are “venting” about how the ACRL, an organization that is usually lauded for their professional resources and support, is not supporting the needs of its members.

Personally, I’m baffled.  The Framework appears to me to be an inclusive, progressive document.    All of the Standards are included within the frames.  The frames even include knowledge practices and dispositions that are written in a similar format.  Of course, I became a librarian right after the Framework was published.  It was suggested to me that I take a look at the “new Framework for Information Literacy” as part of the preparation for my interview.  My immediate reaction to the document was one of excitement – I find the Framework to be exciting and inspiring.  I appreciate its “richer, more complex set of core ideas.” The Standards didn’t do justice to describing the information landscape as it is now.  Students come to higher education having lived a life overwhelmed with information, but by being taught particular concepts their own dispositions and mindsets change.  I love the Framework’s attention to novice learners and their development through education and practice towards expert understanding.  This is a story to which every librarian can relate, not one that is exclusive or pejorative.  I’m happy to be a librarian in a post-Framework world.

Author: Jess Denke

Assessment and Outreach Librarian at Muhlenberg College

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