Unifying the Literacies (Can It Really Be Done?)

This post sparks a very interesting discussion about the ever popular library topic “information literacy.” I am interested to see where this goes.

Designer Librarian

Cloud 1

The ACRL is in the process of redefining information literacy as a metaliteracy, based largely on work by Mackey and Jacobson (2011): “Metaliteracy is an overarching and self-referential framework that integrates emerging technologies and unifies multiple literacy types…Metaliteracy challenges traditional skills-based approaches to information literacy by recognizing related literacy types and incorporating emerging technologies.”

On an official level, this new perspective is a welcome change. But, truth be told librarians have been grappling with these multiple literacies since…well…as long as information literacy has been a library thing. It’s kind of hard not to, since so many of these literacies are intricately connected (e.g. digital literacy, media literacy, critical literacy).

The question I ask is, what does a unified term like metaliteracy really mean? Will it be another library buzzword? Or will it be adopted on a larger scale? And how does one become metaliterate? Is it an objective or a learning outcome?

Here are…

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