Info lit as professional learning, part 1

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Since information literacy goes with lifelong learning (ACRL, 2000), Employee Learning Week (December 5-9) merits two posts.  This week let’s look at professional learning needs.

Carnell (as cited in Carnell & Lodge, 2002) highlight four approaches to professional development: didactic, empowering, co-operative, and community.  Both the didactic approach and the empowering approach  focus on individual development.  While the former involves outside stakeholder needs, the latter involves one’s own self-identified needs.   The other two approaches focus on organizational development.  Outside experts determine the need in the co-operative approach, but the group itself determines the need in the community approach (p. 130).

What does this model have to do with information literacy?  ACRL (2002) Information Literacy Standard One states that an information literate person “determines the nature and extent of the information needed.”  A framework such as the one above can help us clarify our information needs.  By doing so we practice information literacy.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education.  Retrieved from

Carnell, E., & Lodge, C. (2002). Supporting effective learning.  London, England: Paul Chapman.