Empire State Information Fluency Continuum
A substantial body of research has emerged in the last 15 years that demonstrates an important and positive relationship between the presence of a good school library and increased student achievement.
- Effective libraries enable students to explore content deeply, pursue their own academic interests, and engage in inquiry—all of which support the development of high-level literacy skills.
- Effective libraries surround students with high-quality, engaging resources, and technology that spark independent learning.
- Effective libraries also serve a unique function in a school as a “public forum for learning” where students can connect to each other and present their work.
- Librarians play a key role in integrating independent learning skills throughout the curriculum by teaching research, inquiry, and technology skills to students and by providing professional development for teachers.
The framework is based on three standards that form the basis for the skills and strategies essential for students to become independent readers and learners:
- Standard 1: Using Inquiry to Build Understanding and Create New Knowledge
- Standard 2: Pursuing Personal and Aesthetic Growth
- Standard 3: Demonstrating Social Responsibility
This document is called an “Information Fluency Continuum” for very specific reasons. Our young people must go beyond being able to decode information to being able to use appropriate information in any situation; they must be “information fluent” in order to thrive both in and out of school. In addition, like literacy, information fluency must extend in a coherent development continuum throughout the years of schooling, K–12 and beyond.
Information fluency skills and strategies are an integral part of learning in any subject area. They can be most effectively taught by the librarian in collaboration with the classroom teacher, so that students are using these skills to learn essential content. Some of the skills may be incorporated into classroom instruction; others will be most effectively taught in the library setting. Wherever they are taught, these information fluency skills are pivotal in helping all of our children become independent learners.
In the fall of 2010, this Continuum was revised to align with the new AASL national standards, Standards for the 21st -Century Learner. In 2012, the continuum was aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards and endorsed by the School Library Systems Association of New York State. The new Empire State Information Fluency Continuum reflects the critical thinking and information literacy skills today’s students need to be college and career ready.