Still relevant after all these years

Eleanor Mitchell (Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, USA)
Sarah Barbara Watstein (William Madison Randall Library, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 9 February 2015



Mitchell, E. and Watstein, S.B. (2015), "Still relevant after all these years", Reference Services Review, Vol. 43 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Still relevant after all these years

Article Type: Editorial From: Reference Services Review, Volume 43, Issue 1

From time to time, we receive questions from Reference Services Review (RSR) readers, Editorial Board members and ad hoc reviewers about the most “popular” articles from the journal. Monthly journal usage summary reports from our Publisher affirm that the articles on library instruction and information literacy remain among the most highly downloaded ones by RSR readers. The steady popularity of both the annual annotated information literacy bibliography and the biennial publication of papers from the Library Instruction West conference (formerly Library Orientation Exchange (LOEX) of the West) attests to continuing interest in writing about and reading about these topics.

While information literacy theory and method – assessment, instructional improvement, intersection with technology, collaboration, standards, etc. – continue to interest and engage instructional librarians as their practice becomes ever more intentional and refined, the role and value of information literacy in relation to student learning outcomes is also of increasing interest to library and institutional administrators. We note, below, the evidence of the breadth and depth of information literacy:

  • The proposed Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education Members[#fn1] put forward by the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force has garnered robust input and engendered close examination and lively professional dialogue.

  • We see continuing vitality of nationally and internationally known organizations that serve as a conduit for those working in the field, such as LOEX.

  • Professional opportunities, including conferences, workshops, institutes, e-learning seminars and webinars, that provide a place for practitioners to learn, grow, share and build community, abound.

  • Scholarly articles on library instruction and information literacy information continue to advance learning and provide deeper insights and fresh perspectives.

  • There is an increasing focus on the value of academic libraries, broadly and specifically, the relationship of academic libraries to student success.

  • The increasing recognition by accrediting agencies of the importance of learning resources and services to support an institution’s educational, research and public service programs.

We are delighted to present, in this issue, notable papers based on presentations at the Library Instruction West Conference, 2014.

Eleanor Mitchell and Sarah Barbara Watstein


Released on November 12, 2014, the third draft can be found here at: (accessed December 6, 2014).

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