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AASL Model

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Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning

Prepared by the AASL/AECT National Guidelines Vision Committee

Draft #5

October 7, 1996

Today's student lives and learns in a world that has been radically altered by the ready availability of vast stores of information in a variety of formats. The learning process and the information search process mirror each other: students actively seek to construct meaning from the sources they encounter and to create products that shape and communicate that meaning effectively. Developing expertise in accessing, evaluating, and using information is in fact the authentic learning that modern education seeks to promote.

AASL and AECT are partnering to develop new guidelines for school library media programs and professionals that will contain information literacy standards for student learning. The standards are the litmus test by which school library media programs and professionals can define their roles and responsibilities to the learning community, and are the first component of the committee's work to reach final draft form.

The work of the Vision committee on these standards has involved research to define these concepts and exploration of other national association standards to correlate learning concepts. Multiple reviews by both Boards, committee members, and a large expert panel from the greater educational community have also taken place. You, a member of AASL and a professional, are now asked to review this draft carefully, and to send the committee your thoughts.

Please read these standards carefully and respond with the attached questionnaire. We welcome your comments. -- Betty Marcoux, chair

The following three categories, nine standards, and twenty-nine indicators describe the content and processes related to information that students must master to be considered well educated. The items related to information literacy describe the core learning outcomes that are most obviously related to the services provided by school library media programs. The items related to the other two other areas--independent learning and social responsibility--are grounded in information literacy and describe more general aspects of student learning to which school library media programs also make important contributions.

The latter two categories build upon the first so that, taken together and pursued to the highest levels, the standards and indicators present a profile of the information literate high-school graduate: one who has the ability to use information to acquire both core and advanced knowledge and to become an independent, lifelong learner who contributes responsibly and productively to the learning community. The standards and indicators themselves are written at a level of generality that assumes that individual states, districts, sites, and school personnel must provide the level of detail necessary to apply them across multiple sources and formats of information and to the developmental, cultural, and learning needs of all the students they serve.



Category I: Information Literacy

The student who is information literate:

Standard 1: Accesses information efficiently and effectively, as described by the following indicators:


  1. recognizes the need for information;
  2. recognizes that accurate and comprehensive information is the basis for intelligent decision making;
  3. formulates questions based on information needs;
  4. identifies a variety of potential sources of information;
  5. develops and uses successful strategies for locating information.

Standard 2: Evaluates information critically and competently, as described by the following indicators:


  1. determines accuracy, relevance, and comprehensiveness;
  2. distinguishes among facts, point of view, and opinion;
  3. identifies inaccurate and misleading information;
  4. selects information appropriate to the problem or question at hand.

Standard 3: Uses information effectively and creatively, as described by the following indicators:


  1. organizes information for practical application;
  2. integrates new information into one's own knowledge;
  3. applies information in critical thinking and problem solving;
  4. produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate formats.



Category II: Independent Learning

The student who is an independent learner is information literate and:

Standard 4: Pursues information related to personal interests, as described by the following indicators:


  1. seeks information related to various dimensions of personal well-being, such as career interests, community involvement, health matters, and recreational pursuits;
  2. designs, develops, and evaluates information products and solutions related to personal interests.

Standard 5: Appreciates and enjoys literature and other creative expressions of information, as described by the following indicators:


  1. is a competent and self-motivated reader;
  2. derives meaning from information presented creatively in a variety of formats;
  3. develops creative products in a variety of formats.

Standard 6: Strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation, as described by the following indicators:


  1. assesses the quality of the process and products of one's own information seeking;
  2. devises strategies for revising, improving, and updating self-generated knowledge.



Category III: Social Responsibility

The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and:

Standard 7: Recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society, as described by the following indicators:


  1. seeks information from diverse sources, contexts, disciplines, and cultures;
  2. respects the principle of equitable access to information.

Standard 8: Practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology, as described by the following indicators:


  1. respects the principles of intellectual freedom;
  2. respects intellectual property rights;
  3. uses information technology responsibly.

Standard 9: Participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information, as described by the following indicators:


  1. shares knowledge and information with others;
  2. respects others' ideas and backgrounds and acknowledges their contributions;
  3. collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to identify information problems and to seek their solutions;
  4. collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to design, develop, and evaluate information products and solutions.




Thoughts about the Standards


What do you particularly like about these student centered standards:


What other comments do you have regarding these student centered standards?


What materials/staff development opportunities will help you implement these standards?


Any additional comments?


Send your responses to: AASL/AECT Vision Committee
c/o AASL
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL. 60611
Attn.: Pamela Kramer
Fax: 312-664-7459


American Association of School Libraries
Copyright © 1996 by American Library Association.

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