ACRL has been working on a new system of gauging information literacy levels based on six frameworks. These frameworks describe concepts fundemental to an information literate individual in the 21st century.
Although the frameworks are still in draft form and may change, we have chosen to adopt them as the basis for our benchmarks. Most benchmark skills relate directly to one of the ACRL information literacy frameworks.
The six frames are:
I. Scholarship is a Conversation
Scholarship is a conversation refers to the idea of sustained discourse within a community of scholars or thinkers, with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of competing perspectives and interpretations.
II. Research as Inquiry
Research as Inquiry refers to an understanding that research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex questions whose answers develop new questions or lines of inquiry in any field.
III. Authority is Constructed and Contextual
Authority of information resources depends upon the resources’ origins, the information need, and the context in which the information will be used. This authority is viewed with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought.
IV. Format as a Process
Format is the way tangible knowledge is disseminated. The essential characteristic of format is the underlying process of information creation, production, and dissemination, rather than how the content is delivered or experienced.
V. Searching as Exploration
Locating information requires a combination of inquiry, discovery, and serendipity. There is no one size fits all source to find the needed information. Information discovery is nonlinear and iterative, requiring the use of a broad range of information sources and flexibility to pursuit alternate avenues as new understanding is developed.
VI. Information has Value
Information has Value acknowledges that the creation of information and products derived from information requires a commitment of time, original thought, and resources that need to be respected by those seeking to use these products, or create their own based on the work of others. In addition, information may be valued more or less highly based on its creator, its audience/consumer, or its message.
You can read the draft of the ACRL Information Literacy Frameworks in its entirety: