January 27, 2022

ACRL Publishes New White Paper: “Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy”

From ACRL: 

 The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of a new white paper, “Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment,” written by a working group of leaders from many areas of the association.

This white paper explores and articulates three intersections between scholarly communication and information literacy:

  1. economics of the distribution of scholarship (including access to scholarship, the changing nature of scholarly publishing and the education of students to be knowledgeable content consumers and content creators);
  2. digital literacies (including teaching new technologies and rights issues and the emergence of multiple types of non-textual content); and
  3. our changing roles (including the imperative to contribute to the building of new infrastructures for scholarship, and deep involvement with creative approaches to teaching).

“These intersections indicate areas of strategic realignment for academic librarians so that our libraries can be resilient in the face of tremendous change in the scholarly information environment,” said Barbara DeFelice, past chair of the ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee and director of the digital resources and scholarly communication programs at the Dartmouth College Library.

After elaborating on each intersection, the paper provides strategies for librarians from different backgrounds to initiate collaborations within their own campus environments between information literacy and scholarly communication. Erin Ellis, head of libraries instructional services at the University of Kansas and chair of ACRL’s Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee, noted that, “developing new collaborations between information literacy and scholarly communication programs is an important strategic response to the changing academic environment.”

After articulating these intersections and exploring core responses, the paper recommends four objectives, with actions for each, that could be taken by ACRL, other academic library organizations, individual libraries and library leaders. The overarching recommendations are:

  1. integrate pedagogy and scholarly communication into educational programs for librarians to achieve the ideal of information fluency;
  2. develop new model information literacy curricula, incorporating evolutions in pedagogy and scholarly communication issues;
  3. explore options for organizational change; and
  4. promote advocacy.

“We feel that these objectives will support libraries in becoming more resilient in the face of the changing digital information environment,” said Kevin Smith, chair of ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee and director of copyright and scholarly communication at Duke University.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.