Published In

ACRL Publication in Librarianship No. 64

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Information literacy, Academic libraries, Critical thinking


The following book chapter will look at critical thinking, how librarians perceive its relationship to information literacy, and what useful strategies can result when these two concepts are combined. To set the stage a few of the major psychological and philosophical theories of critical thinking will be briefly noted. In order to gauge our profession's understanding of critical thinking and its relationship to information literacy, a survey of library literature will be performed. The more rigorous articles from this survey will then be discussed in order to discern the range of positions librarians have taken on the relationship of these two concepts. Moving from theory to practice, the next section will showcase five different models of campus-wide learning outcomes that combine critical thinking and information literacy into one outcome. A special note will be made of unique features of each of the combined outcomes, in the hopes that readers will find that one or more of the models resonate with the learning outcomes at their own institution. Next a recent survey of almost 200 librarians will be analyzed to discover librarians' feelings around the idea of a merged critical thinking and information literacy outcome, as well as the perceived benefits and liabilities of such a merger. Finally, for those information literacy librarians considering adopting strategic partnerships (such as combining critical thinking and information literacy at their campus), some practical advice will be given.


Used by permission.


Chapter 6 in Transforming information literacy programs : intersecting frontiers of self, library culture, and campus community.



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