Sconul 7 Pillars

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Framework in brief


In 2011, the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) published the ‘SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model for Higher Education’. It defines the core skills and competencies (ability) and attitudes and behaviours (understanding) at the heart of information literacy development in higher education. ‘Lenses’ can be developed for different user populations to enable the model to be applied in various situations.

An important aspect of the model is that the ‘information literate student, teacher, researcher’ develops their own skills/ability and understanding according to their personal situation. It is not a linear process: a person can be developing within several pillars simultaneously and independently. Eventually, the person will become more information literate, showing that they have mastered several aspects of a pillar.



SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy The SCONUL website
Framework SandboxSconul Seven Pillars Core Model The base document from 2011
Information Literacy Learning outcomes and generic activities Wageningen University & Research (WUR) library information and elaboration of learning outcomes


The following institutions use the Sconul 7 Pillars framework

  • Avans Hogeschool – Mariette Vissers-Machielsen
  • Wageningen University and Research – Renee de Waal


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.