Information literacy learning as epistemological process

Patrick K. Morgan (Van Wylen Library, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 5 August 2014



The purpose of this article is to discuss the reasons for an approach to teaching information literacy (IL) as an epistemological process of discovery, in which emphasis is shifted away from short-term mastery of library skills and re-centered on higher-order intellectual concerns.


The study is based on evaluation of personal experience, readings within and outside the field of teaching librarianship and research into the ways students interact with information.


An open approach to working with undergraduate students offers a fruitful way forward for teaching librarians and IL learners, both of whom stand constantly on the edge of an unpredictable information universe.


Learner-oriented approaches to teaching IL are quite common, but relatively few studies have considered, in any depth, the possibility for a truly open model for IL learning that approaches the world of information as unified but not monolithic. This study draws on a variety of perspectives from outside librarianship to present a different vision for the future of information interaction and its facilitation by teaching librarians.



Patrick K. Morgan (2014) "Information literacy learning as epistemological process", Reference Services Review, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 403-413

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