May 28, 2022

Research Article: “Historical Development of Definitions of Information Literacy: A Literature Review of Selected Resources” (Preprint)

The following article/preprint was accepted for publication by The Journal of Academic Librarianship on January 3, 2020. The full text version linked to below was recently shared by the author on the Oral Roberts University institutional repository.


Historical Development Of Definitions Of Information Literacy: A Literature Review Of Selected Resources


Angela Sample
Oral Roberts University


via Academic Showcase: Oral Roberts University
Forthcoming: The Journal of Academic Librarianship


This article traces the historical progression of Information Literacy (IL) definitions from 2000 to 2015 in the published literature on first-year seminar and freshman general education IL instruction in the U.S. This period roughly corresponds to the influence of the ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (Standards) on the work of LIS professionals and scholars in IL and information literacy instruction (ILI), prior to the adoption in January 2016 of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Framework). Following a brief look at the background of IL in Library and Information Science (LIS), the chronological development of IL definitions is examined using the three major categories of IL definitions based on Addison and Meyers’ (2013) framework of IL definitions, and concludes with a discussion of limitations of Addison and Meyers’ (2013) framework of IL definitions. The information presented here offers one perspective of viewing the development and history of IL in U.S. higher education.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.