Librarians who work in hospitals have many daily tasks and meager time to spare on activities unrelated to their primary role (which I will loosely define as “supporting health care professionals” for the purposes of this post). Should hospital librarians care about the ACRL Framework?
Consider these three questions:
1. Does your hospital support nursing or allied health programs or accreditation?
ACRL stands for Association of College and Research Libraries. If you answered yes, the Framework might be relevant because it is a standard that can be applied to course development for undergraduate allied health & nursing programs. In fact, nursing accreditation standards for information literacy already exist – & are now superseded by the Framework. Some nursing librarians recently published a Framework-based rubric for assessing undergraduate nursing research papers for information literacy skills.
2. Do you provide “bibliographic instruction” at your hospital library?
Information Literacy is “a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” If you answered yes to bibliographic instruction, the Framework might be relevant because it conceptualizes qualities of an “information literate” individual and engages higher level thinking, moving beyond the ‘how’ to find information to asking ‘why’ the information is important & according to whom.
3. Do you have time to read? If yes – two recommendations: 1) a book review by hospital librarian Eleanor Shanklin Truex in the October 2016 Journal of the Medical Library Association which evaluates the book The New Information Literacy Instruction: Best Practices – the book review is available for free to read via open access. If that tickles your fancy, also check out 2) Chapter 9 “Information and Scientific Literacy Support,” which discusses course and program level support of scientific literacy. The chapter is currently available to preview on Amazon.
Should hospital librarians care about the ACRL Framework? My gut answer is no, but every [hospital] library is different. If you are primarily in service to doctors, residents, patients, and hospital admin, you can probably skip it. If you have any connection with undergraduate students, it’s worth knowing.
Our webinar on the Framework is Wednesday, April 26. If you can’t make it we’ll send you a recording.
EDIT 4/17/2016 – Registration for the Framework webinar is closed due to overwhelming popularity. A recording will be available on our website after the broadcast.