We call it info lit


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Recently I complained to some faculty members about the word “interdisciplinarity.”  I feared that outsiders might consider the term a meaningless buzzword.  Then I rethought my stance.  We librarians have been doing interdisciplinary work: we simply call it information literacy.

ACRL Standard One (2000) specifically mentions disciplines in one of its outcomes.  After all, interdisciplinarity does not neglect grounding in disciplines (Marsilla and Duraisingh, 2007, p. 222).

Obviously interdiciplinarity goes beyond disciplines, as does information literacy.  Again the ACRL Standards(2000) speak to this idea.  Standard 3, Performance Indicator 3 reads, ” The information literate student synthesizes main ideas to construct new concepts.”  Doesn’t interdicsiplinarity involve integrating ideas from different disciplines to gain new insights?

As you engage in such discussions, please invite your librarians to the table. We share your interdisciplinary interests.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education.  Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm

Boix Mansilla, V., & Duraisingh, E. D. (2007). Targeted assessment of students’ interdisciplinary work: An empirically grounded framework proposed. The Journal of Higher Education, 78(2), 215-237. doi:10.1353/jhe.2007.0008

Simmons, M. H. (2005). Librarians as disciplinary discourse mediators: Using genre theory to move toward critical information literacy. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5(3), 297-311. doi: 10.1353/pla.2005.0041