Skip to main content

Who invited the librarian? Studio critiques as a site of information literacy education

  • Larissa Garcia (a1) and Ashley Peterson (a2)

The ACRL Framework for information literacy for higher education, the guiding document for academic instruction librarians in North America, encourages a deep connection between information literacy and discipline-specific teaching practices. In the context of art librarianship, one means of attaining this connection is via librarian participation in studio critiques. Critiques enable librarians to identify the similarities between the research process and the creative process, making information literacy relevant for art students. In two different institutional examples, the ACRL Framework provides a conceptual grounding for studio critiques as a collaborative space between librarians and faculty, where students learn lifelong information literacy and critical thinking skills that enrich their artistic work.

Hide All

1. ‘Information literacy competencies standards for higher education.’ Association of College and Research Libraries, January 2000,

2. ‘Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, Association of College and Research Libraries, January 11, 2015,

3. For a definition of threshold concepts see Meyer, Jan H.F. and Land, Ray, “Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: an introduction,” in Overcoming barriers to student understanding: threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge, eds. Meyer, Jan H.F. and Land, Ray. (London; New York: Routledge, 2006), 318 .

4. The six frames are authority is constructed and contextual; information creation as a process; information has value; research as inquiry; scholarship as conversation; and searching as strategic exploration. Regarding knowledge practices and dispositions, consider for example the frame ‘authority is constructed and contextual’ which is defined as an understanding that ‘Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used.’ One of the attendant knowledge practices is the ability to identify different types of authority (subject expertise, personal experience, societal position) and the situations where this authority is of value. A disposition of a person who has learned this concept is the motivation to seek out different types of authority when finding information resources and consider who, or what, has granted it.

5. Kuglitsch, Rebecca Z., ‘Teaching for transfer: reconciling the framework with disciplinary information literacy,’ Portal: libraries and the academy 15, no. 3 (2015): 457 .

6. Kuglitsch, ‘Teaching for Transfer’, 457

7. Ibid, 467.

8. Greer, Katie, ‘Connecting inspiration with information: studio art students and information literacy instruction,” Communications in information literacy 9, no. 1 (2015): 8394 . Part two, a multi-institution citation analysis, was published in September 2016.

9. Greer, ‘Connecting Inspiration with Information,’ 84.

10. Garcia, Larissa and Labatte, Jessica, ‘Threshold concepts as metaphors for the creative process: adapting the framework for information literacy to studio art classes,” Art documentation 34, no. 2 (2015): 236 , 239.

11. Keogh, Kristina M. and Patton, Stephen A., ‘Embedded art librarianship: project partnerships from concept to production,’ Art documentation 35, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 146 .

12. ACRL, ‘Framework for information literacy for higher education’.

13. Loftis, Elsa and Wormser, Jennifer Martinez, ‘Developing online information literacy instruction for the undergraduate art student: a collaborative approach in the context of the framework for information literacy,’ Art documentation 35, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 241 .

14. Loftis and Wormser, ‘Developing online information literacy,’ 252, 258.

15. Mers, Adelheid, ‘Adapting techniques of studio critique for arts management pedagogy,” The journal of arts management, law, and society 43 (2013): 90 .

16. Barrett, Terry, ‘Studio critiques of student art: as they are, as they could be with mentoring,’ Theory into practice 39, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 32 .

17. Garcia and Labatte, ‘Threshold concepts as metaphors,’ 245.

18. Mers, ‘Adapting techniques of studio critique,’ 90.

19. ACRL, ‘Framework for information literacy for higher education’.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Buster, Kendall and Crawford, Paula, The critique handbook: the art student's sourcebook and survival guide, 2nd edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010), 90 .

23. ACRL, ‘Framework for information literacy for higher education’.

24. Garcia and Labatte, ‘Threshold concepts as metaphors,’ 246

25. ACRL, ‘Framework for information literacy for higher education’.

26. Ibid.

27. Barrett, ‘Studio critiques of student art,’ 34.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Art Libraries Journal
  • ISSN: 0307-4722
  • EISSN: 2059-7525
  • URL: /core/journals/art-libraries-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *