23 Framework Things: Thing 1: Introduction to the Framework

I would claim I don't need any introduction to the Framework. As an academic librarian, I am a post-standards librarian, so I may have thought that primer on the differences between the two wouldn't appeal to me. However, I know I have a lot to learn, so I dove right in.

On being a post-standards librarian:Yes, I did use the standards in my limited work with some of the smaller colleges who brought their students into the public library, but those tasks were few and far between in my public library career so the standards were hardly ingrained my head.

While the lazy part of me loves the idea of using a list of standards as a checklist of sorts for creating a curriculum and assessing the students, the academic in me really enjoys the subjectivity and emphasis on context and criticism in the Framework.

Reading Assignment: 
Foasberg, N. M. (2015). From Standards to Frameworks for IL: How the ACRL Framework addresses critiques of the Standards. portal: Libraries and the Academy15(4), 699-717. http://academicworks.cuny.edu/qc_pubs/14/
Quotes of note: 
"The Framework is also friendlier to a critical information literacy, one that grants students agency to critique the social and institutional hierarchies surrounding information production and distribution". 
 "Jeff Purdue observes... 'If I am doing good research, at no time do I merely 'extract and record' information. I wrestle with the material. I argue with the author, or make connections with other authors. And I engage in an activity that has the potential to change my life..' " (quote within a quote is annoying I know, but this is a blog, not an article)
 "Information literacy requires understanding that contesting earlier texts is an important feature of scholarly writing, and that writers must comprehend the community and the genre within which they write."
"...to be information literate, a person not only must understand the process buy which information is deemed 'appropriate' but must also evaluate whether this process is a just one." 
A computer science student approached me last week about becoming a computer science librarian. He was curious as to my thoughts about how librarianship has changed. What I told him aligns a little with the transition from standards to framework.
I said that teaching information literacy has moved away from the technical aspects of point-and-click, retrieve, and value the information - since publishing scholarly information was a high academic game back then you could trust information you retrieved from authoritative sources. Now everyone can point, click, and publish information. That means that understanding the means of conversing in different platforms in different disciplines, understanding how they prefer to communicate (and how they really do), and the functions behind those communication methods - all of that knowledge has to speak to how you discover, acquire, use, and then contribute information to the scholarly conversation. Librarians have a unique position of being able to focus on those contextualities, while the scholars we serve have to focus on their research. So that makes our partnership all the more important.

I honestly have no idea if he followed the conversation - he had to run and go present a poster, and we haven't followed up yet. But the move from standards to framework, which was probably years too late if it was following this trend, is definitely analogous to the conversation I had with that student.

To move my digestion of this article to a new discipline, the discussion started in page 705 about how the Framework more clearly recognizes the role of community, puts me in mind of John Meier's use of free online resources in his Math Information Literacy classes - which inspired my own desire to do so. (See his ACRL chat archived here: http://iue.libguides.com/sts-il-lwchat/archive2016)
Math Stack Exchange is my favorite example of community-driven scholarly conversation in alternate media. There, anyone can post a math question, and mathematicians answer and vote-up or vote-down each others answers. And yes, of course, every math question in every common textbook is indeed posted as a question by a student. However, they're mathematicians answering the questions - many of them are teaching that course! It's most common that they intercept it as an obvious textbook question and provide inspiration for the student toward the answer rather than the actual answer. They provide contextual information, and discussion as well. For real curiosity or research-driven questions, you'll find a lot of conversation, several proofs, and comments and up-and-down votes showing you which answers are preferred and why. It's a really fun accessible example of scholarship as conversation (and alternative media and how the way the media is published affects its contextual authority).
Students, I think, are more innately attuned to the concept of scholarship as conversation than we think. Ask a Computer Science student, for example, whether they'd like to use this article on "ubiquitous technology" from 2007 or a 2017 article on "internet of things" by the same author in the same journal. From a standards perspective, the authority remains static, and the information is just as valuable. The novice student's instinct (and likely yours too) is that obviously the 2017 article is better. Perhaps you only think they think that because currency is an important objective indicator of authority, but I don't think it's that simple. From a framework perspective, it's easy to talk about analyzing how the conversation changed over the intervening 10 years. About learning to understand the community in which this conversation happened, and how the changes in that community contributed to the conversation's evolution.
Another section that provides some digestibility in my own recent experiences: in commenting upon 'critical information literacy' in the context of "authority is constructed and contextual" and "information has value", the authors note that "...to be information literate, a person not only must understand the process by which information is deemed a"appropriate" but must also evaluate whether this process is a just one". One question this brings up for me is - how entrenched must our students already be in their own values systems to wrap their brain around this? I recall college as a time of a lot of pushing and stretching of values. Perhaps the teaching of this concept is a means of helping the students along this path. Some simpler examples may open students up to this: like a data archive being behind an association's membership wall, when that association does not represent the diversity in its field, or perhaps welcome student members. Then, the reproducibility of its research is hampered, or at least limited only to those who adhere to the homogeneity of the association.
A concrete example comes directly from some of my more recent requests from faculty to evaluate publishing opportunities. In many checklists of publishing quality a question is included to evaluate the publisher's website for typos. I don't really think that there's any reason to suggest that just because a publisher is out of China, and perhaps uses different standards of grammar for English than we do, that they can't produce quality research. I prefer to focus on the other indicators of quality. So, my own process of judging the quality of journals has deemed that simple grammar errors is an unjust means of evaluating quality.
The authors cite Elmborg  who points out that the standards structure which generalizes the research process, and only portrays one example of a generic and successful process of interacting with a traditional piece of "authoritative" information, "...is typical of a successful (and often privileged) student whose behavior is similar to our (librarians, scholars) own.". This makes so much sense to me. I have come up against more than a few scholars in fact who give me a pat on the back and a "well, it's nice that this is how you do it, but I do it differently, and it works just as well.". And of course it does.
Someone taught me, and I absorbed, the librarian-y way of doing things. The computer scientist or mathematician was probably taught another way, or maybe never taught at all, but figured it out on their own in a completely different manner. And all of us have things to learn about navigating conversations in our disciplines, about learning about how new types of media and their creation affect that conversation, etc. Research is messy, nonlinear, and iterative... love it. They're using their own methods of discovering their own unique conversations, and to serve them well I need to honor them all!
I would have expected more of a call to action in this piece, rather than a simple summary as conclusion. To me, the unspoken call to action is to recognize students as conversants and critics of the scholarly conversation in their discipline, and to use that fact and the norms of the conversation and discipline to inform your information literacy instruction. I have to say - the article was a bit of a bear to get through, but there was some good content - obviously it inspired a lot of thought in me.

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