Reframing Information Literacy as Academic Cultural Capital: A Critical and Equity-Based Foundation for Practice, Assessment, and Scholarship

Amanda L. Folk


Within the past decade, academic librarianship has increased its focus on critical librarianship and assessing student success, as well as undergoing a complete reconceptualization of information literacy. However, our assessment and scholarship related to information literacy and student success largely neglects the persistent racial and social-class achievement gaps in American higher education. This article draws upon a critical social theory commonly used in higher education research—cultural capital—to consider the ways in which information literacy as threshold concepts may enable or constrain success for students whose identities higher education has traditionally marginalized. Finally, Estela Mara Bensimon’s equity cognitive frame is introduced to consider the ways in which we can ground our practice, assessment, and scholarship in our professional values of equity and inclusion.

Full Text:

Copyright Amanda L. Folk

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Article Views (Last 12 Months)

No data available

Contact ACRL for article usage statistics from 2010-April 2017.

Article Views (By Year/Month)

January: 48
February: 103
March: 56
April: 86
May: 64
June: 90
July: 60
August: 45
September: 82
October: 115
November: 59
December: 3
January: 76
February: 136
March: 91
April: 96
May: 81
June: 111
July: 102
August: 64
September: 82
October: 165
November: 93
December: 49
January: 0
February: 0
March: 0
April: 0
May: 0
June: 4
July: 715
August: 431
September: 434
October: 209
November: 256
December: 72