ACRL Framework

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Framework in brief


The ACRL Framework approaches information literacy on the basis of a number of frames (concepts) that students learn to master during their studies. On the basis of the framework, this is essential for students to become information literate professionals.

The ACLR Framework consists of six frames:

  • Authority is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Although the ACRL Framework gives concrete examples of each frame, it does not contain a list of prescribed learning objectives. This is a deliberate decision, in part because exact learning objectives easily become outdated. But as a result, there is greater scope for each institute itself to determine how each frame can best be dealt with.

The ACRL Framework can be used very flexibly.



ACRL Framework The framework itself.
Framework Sandbox Database with teaching resources and ideas for use with the framework.
Framework Toolkit Toolkit with various resources and suggestions.
Infobesitas Blog posts by Anneke Dirkx (in Dutch) about information literacy.
23 Framework Things A 23-things course about the framework.
Students Perception of Information Literacy Skills Article about possible framework applications
ACRL Framework Buckell University Bucknell University page about the framework.
Threshold Concepts Page about Threshold Concepts, one of the underlying ideas of the framework.
ACLR Framework Pocket Guide The ACLR Framework in a useful pocket size!



The following institutions use the ACRL framework:

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Rogier van de Blaak
  • Universiteit Utrecht – Jeroen Bosman
  • Maastricht University – Jurn Glazenburg


Image source: The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy and the Six Major Frames. From: Burress, T., Clark, M., Hernandez, S., & Myhill, N. (2015, June). Wikipedia: Teaching Metaliteracy in the Digital Landscape [poster]. Presented at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition, San Francisco.