ACRL Framework: Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

Misti and I went through the ACRL Framework as we developed outcomes for our information literacy sessions. I will now outline each frame.

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual:

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Basically, authority is given by sociological power structures and information need. Who has the street cred here? For an undergraduate research paper on Beethoven, it’s probably the old white dude from Harvard with several books published from a university press. For an insiders’ look into inequalities faced by first generation undergraduate students? It’ll be a different authority. There’s a difference between subject knowledge, position or power, or personal experience.

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