Information Literacy: Elements Of A Maturing Discipline - Dr. Karen F. Kaufmann & Dr. Clarence Maybee
ELEMENTSOFA MATURING DISCIPLINE
Dr. Karen F. Kaufmann & Dr. Clarence Maybee
LILAC 2022 April 11-13 Manchester, UK
Research points to Information
This investigation builds on the work of information
literacy researchers SheilaWebber and Bill Johnston,
who identified information literacy as:
§ an emerging soft applied discipline in 1999
§ a maturing soft applied discipline in 2017.
ELEMENTS of a Discipline
• Knowledge Practices
• Knowledge Community
(Beecher &Trowler, 2001)
"...in order to have external impact, you need to have
(Webber & Johnston, 2017, p. 169)
If IL is a
as a discipline
Strenthens our IL narrative
Situated as understood by
other disciplinary faculty
Easier to integrate into
Opportunities for more credit
courses to be developed and
Allows for more dialogue
about IL as transdisciplinary
Holistic understanding of IL
as a social practice
of a Discipline
1) COMMUNITY OF SCHOLARS
2) COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
3) ETHICAL CONCERNS
4)TRADITION AND HISTORY OF INQUIRY
5) SPECIFIC MODES OF INQUIRY
6) INFORMATION LITERACY KNOWLEDGE AND
This focus is on indicators of IL communities of information
literacy research and education.
This could include descriptions of information literacy
organizations, groups, institutes, and other alliances, that focus on
information literacy advocacy, research, educational
development, and others.
Also identified by professional organizations, and conferences
where scholars, teachers, researchers, faculty academic librarians,
and others interested in information literacy meet, converse, and
present research findings and methods.
IL communication networks that are in place and have emerged
over time such as academic journals, conferences, academic
publishers, blogs, and other communication platforms that act as
channels of communication for the information literacy
Recognition of a Communications Network among scholars,
researchers, and practitioners of information literacy at the
International, national, regional organizations, sections, special
interest groups, blogs, online communities, with iSchools, and
other academic and information professional ethos.
Standards & Frameworks codified by the Community of
Scholars and the Tradition of Inquiry supports the maturation of
This focus concerns the information literacy community in
addressing concerns equity in the use of information, IL as a social
practice, in the humanities where IL and its core disciplinary
nature supports ethical use and access of information.
Code of ethics that has also emerged in the last twenty years
identifies related contexts such as: social justice that addresses
antiracism, social equity; the democratization of information
which is a key component of the LIS tenets that are vital to
information ethos and flow; Information use that addresses
privacy, equitable access, sharing, and many legal ethical
questions addressed both nationally and internationally and finally
the notion of accessibility which has wide-ranging implications
and related contextual, collegial and professional associations.
• The tradition and history of inquiry speaks to the nature of
information literacy as transdisciplinary and describe occurrences
in the field leading up to its emergence and potential recognition
as a discipline, including the development of the language
practices of the discipline.
• This explicates a timeline of maturation and history of literature,
research, and related content.
• Standards and Frameworks have been adopted by
professional organizations such as SCONUL, UNESCO, ACRL,
IFLA, and others across the globe explicate traditions and history
of information literacy emerging as a discipline.
The theories and methodologies used by information literacy
researchers and educators to investigate the human experience of
using information, as well as to create meaningful educational
Methodologies identified in the literature such as
phenomenography, phenomenology, mixed methods, qualitative
and quantitative methods verify the diverse ways that information
literacy has been researched over the last twenty years.
Acknowledging the Epistemological approaches - or ways of
knowing - used when examining information literacy and
published in the literature such as consciousness and the
information experience also support the notion that information
literacy is a discipline. (Bruce, 2000; Budd,2020).
This element relates to aspects of the body of knowledge, skills,
and values that comprise information literacy, such as information
literacy curricula and expectations for learning about using
information across the human lifespan.
Pedagogies andTheories used in the discipline includes informed
learning, active learning, and asset-based pedagogy, and theories
of influence such as critical information literacy, threshold
concepts, variation theory, relevance theory, and others that
support worldwide information literacy communities of practice.
IL as a
What IF we used the lens of IL as a
discipline for future conversations as
researchers, academics, and practitioners?
What happens when we converse using the
lens of IL as a discipline?
How does this IL as a discipline lens promote inclusive
ways of thinking about sub-disciplines: such as:
How does this new IL disciplinary lens shape
conversations by LIS faculty, researchers
Let's talk in small
groups to explore this
idea of IL as a
participate in a poll in
a few minutes to
collect your thoughts
Would the recognition of IL as
a discipline have implications
for you work? What might
What happens when we
converse using the lens of IL as a
What are your thoughts about
possible hurdles, challenges,
advantages or benefits to
moving forward with the
recognition of IL as a Discipline?
Karen F. Kaufmann, PhD
Research & Instruction
Seminole State College of
Clarence Maybee, PhD
Professor and W. Wayne
Booker Endowed Chair in
ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) (Association of College and Research Libraries) Working Group on Global Perspectives for Information Literacy,
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