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March Update

There's still time to participate in field testing one or more modules this semester.  This is great opportunity to contribute to the effectiveness and rigor of the test.  If you're interested, please contact me ( or Rick Wiggins ( to get started.

We continue to make strides in developing the test.  We've just completed cognitive interviews and usability testing for the third test module and we are writing items for the final module, 4: The Value of Information.  Thanks to our talented team of test question writers, we are making exciting progress.

I had a chance this month to check in with Carrie Donovan to find out what she's thinking about the Framework now that it's been a little more than one year since ACRL filed the document. Carrie is Assistant Dean for Research & Instruction Services at Ferris State University’s Ferris Library. She is a curriculum designer and facilitator for ACRL's Assessment in Action. She also serves as the ACRL Instruction Section Member-at-Large, and as the ACRL Liaisons Training and Development Committee Vice-Chair. Carrie has been a member of the TATIL Advisory Board since 2014.

I asked her the following questions and she shared her insights.

Question 1: What do you see as the biggest strength of the Framework?

"The biggest strength of the framework for me is that we are addressing student learning holistically. Instead of focusing only on what we want our students to be able to do and know, we are also looking at how learning will impact emotions and values. This is a wonderful way to validate the moves we've been making recently as a profession away from seeing the library or information as neutral, toward an acknowledgement of context, whether it is institutional, personal, cultural, etc. So, basically I'm super excited about the 'Dispositions' in the Framework."

Question 2: Have you observed an evolution in librarians' attitudes about the Framework from the early drafts up until now? If so, how would you describe it?

"Definitely! For librarians who had worked hard to build information literacy programs and gain campus recognition for the Standards, the idea of a new definition of information literacy was a big deal. But through the discussions we've had, the thinking we've done, and the helpful critiques that have emerged, the possibilities for how the Framework might influence and complement existing approaches are starting to take shape. We're also seeing practical examples of how the Framework is helping librarians connect their outcomes to those of other disciplines, to establish instructional partnerships with faculty, and to bring information literacy concepts into courses and curricula in new ways. This goes a long way toward making the Framework seem not just theoretical, but actionable."

Question 3: ACRL does a lot to support librarians' ongoing assessment of students' learning outcomes. Do you think that the Framework presents a new type of assessment challenge/opportunity? If so, how do you think that ACRL can continue to support librarians in these efforts? What do you think librarians need most?

"The biggest challenge that I see in assessing student learning as it is outlined by the Framework is that information literacy concepts, practices, and dispositions are so BIG that they cannot be learned in the timeframes and formats in which we're accustomed to teaching (i.e. workshops or one-shots). So, librarians will need to move our instruction and assessment strategies into broader, campus contexts. I would love to see ACRL continue to (and do more!) work with groups like AAC&U, the Lumina Foundation, and regional accrediting agencies to make sure information literacy is well-integrated into the big-picture, strategic assessment initiatives that are adopted by our campuses. But I also think librarians will be looking toward ACRL more than ever to help us build capacity for leadership in student learning assessment for ourselves and I have no doubt that there is some Assessment in Action/Immersion mash-up that will be just the ticket. Here's hoping, anyway!"

Want to hear more from Carrie?  She's the keynote speaker at the Michigan Academic Library Association Conference, being held May 12 & 13, 2016, at the Central Michigan University -- Park Library.  Get more information about the conference at