On behalf of SCONUL – the Society for College, National and University Libraries – InformAll has produced a brief review of the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy, to provide an assessment of how the model is perceived and what might be done in future to improve it.
The review is freely available here, under a Creative Commons license.
SCONUL’s Seven Pillars were originally formulated in 1999. In the ten years that followed, the model was adopted and deployed by academic librarians and teachers in the UK and beyond. In 2011, and notably following a survey of how UK institutions perceived and used the Seven Pillars, SCONUL revised and expanded the model, to reflect more clearly the range of different terminologies and concepts that have come to characterise information literacy. The review takes stock of the evolution of the model, and how this has affected the perceptions of its users.
The review concludes that the Seven Pillars model has stood the test of time. Over the nearly fifteen years since it was first conceived, it has attracted widespread recognition within the academic librarian community, in the UK and internationally. For many librarians, it is now a familiar, well-used tool which has served as a basis for much work, within higher education institutions, on developing a better understanding of information literacy. Moreover, the revision of the Seven Pillars in 2011 has to some extent helped to overcome scepticism about earlier incarnation of the model, notably through an approach that recognises the importance of attitudes and behaviours as well as skills, and that can be adapted to different contexts. There is some consensus therefore that the Seven Pillars remain useful. But in order for this usefulness to be maintained, the review makes a number of suggestions to help ensure that the model reflects evolving needs, adjusts to different contexts and if need be, develops a flexible structure.
This resource is licensed by SCONUL under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.