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Staying informed of current and emerging trends in academic librarianship provides

opportunities of professional development for the novice and expert librarian alike. While it can
be challenging to be well versed in every trend, it is still necessary to have a working foundation
on all current trends. Three areas of interest will be briefly explored that defines the topic or issue
and what implications each topic may bring to current and future academic libraries. These topics
are: Net Neutrality, ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education and the next Information
Literacy Framework, and the changing form and function of academic library physical space with
regard to the Makerspace movement.
In recent months, Net Neutrality was a much talked about topic within and without
academia. As a concept, Net Neutrality is a non-discriminatory policy that provides unregulated
yet equal access to online content and services for the end user. It is a cornerstone principle of the
Internet for intellectual freedom, access, and more. The issue that has been discussed in recent
months is about Internet Service Providers (ISPs) creating what is called bit discrimination, or a
discriminatory policy that provides faster than nominal access speeds to certain websites and
services that pay an extra premium, while degrading nominal access speeds to other websites and
services (Network Neutrality). Using a hexagonal grid map example, with each website and service
at each hexagonal point on the grid, the lines connecting to each point would either be wider than
usual, narrower than usual, or no line connecting at all to represent access blockage, to signify the
ISPs grand canyon-like bit discriminatory policy. A ruling back in early 2014 would cause for
outpour attention to the Net Neutrality issue.
Back in January of 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held a ruling
from the Verizon v. FCC case that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had overstepped

its authority when regulating the broadband ISPs as common carriers. The court decreed that the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 does classify broadband ISPs as an informational provider,
language used from the assaulted Open Internet Order 2010, but under the Telecommunications
Act the broadband ISPs are only responsible for fewer regulations enforced by the FCC, defeating
the FCC in the court case. If events continued the way this court case had played out, the
Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) hypothesized a few future implications to
academic libraries. The first is the paid prioritization of access speed (Jackson).
Library services, such as, the library catalog and the digital institutional repository could be
subjugated to degraded access speeds due to paid prioritization while libraries continue to deal
with budget constraints. Another idea ACRL hypothesized on what could happen is vendors like
EBSCO and Proquest making deals with the ISPs to have paid prioritization, and if so, then that
could mean an extra cost to the academic library in the form of a higher database subscription
cost. Factoring these and other scenarios, a larger issue could mean the destabilization of the very
core mission of colleges and universities that depend on the open and equitable access for
research and scholarly communication. By the end of July of 2014, the FCC received 1.1 million
comments about the Net Neutrality issue, with some of the large library players being involved
These library players, such as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the American
Library Association (ALA), and other large educational organizations, came out with several Net
Neutrality Principles to protect the cornerstone of the internet. Principles such as prohibiting
access blockage and paid prioritization of access to transparency of the ISPs disclosed network
management practices. These and other enforceable principles were suggested to the FCC to

consider while the FCC listened to public and private interests on the future of the Internet (Higher
In more recent weeks, the FCC had decided to reclassify broadband Internet as a public
utility, including both fixed and mobile broadband. By establishing a new Open Internet Order
policy to regulate broadband ISPs, the ISPs are now banned from acts, such as, blocking access to
legal content and services and degrading access through paid prioritization. Upon hearing the
FCCs decision, President Deborah Jakubs of ARL had said, [l]ibraries, colleges, and universities
have long championed, advanced, and provided critical intellectual freedoms such as education,
research, learning, free speech, and innovation. These freedoms rely on net neutrality, and todays
vote at the FCC ensures that network operators cannot act as gatekeepers and place commercial
interests above non-commercial expression. The ISPs are less than enthused about this turn of
events and are considering to pursue lawsuits to overturn the new Open Internet Order policy,
leaving time to tell how the issue will come to a close for the public good (Enis, 2015). Exploring
the Net Neutrality issue, issues of degraded access are no longer an immediate concern of
scholarly communication for the ACRLs Information Literacy Standards for Libraries in Higher
Education and the forthcoming Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education.
To frame the current and supposed successor of the ACRL Information Literacy Standards
used in libraries in Higher Education, it is necessary first to define the general Higher Education
Standards that shape information literacy that guides academic libraries in advancing and
supporting students learning, while being a leader on campus to help their institution achieve
their mission in Higher Education. Current standards were created from documents, such as, the
ACRLs Strategic Plan 2020, the ALAs Library Bill of Rights and Code of Ethics, and other reports.

These consulted sources yielded an evidence-based model with principles and performance
indicators to provide expectations of the Standards guidelines, with an outcome-based approach
to suggest tangible ways to fulfill the principles and performance indicators and guide academic
libraries on continual assessment and improvement on campus (Standards for Libraries, 2011).
These general standards have served to model information literacy standards in academic libraries
for years, but a new framework for Information Literacy competencies seeks to better adapt
academic libraries in these changing times.
For about the last fifteen years, the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher
Education tasked individuals to develop skills that will allow them to "recognize when information
is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."
This type of standard in higher education would promote lifelong learning among individuals as
part of the institutions mission, and have individuals react accordingly to the information overload
caused by the recent rapid development in informational technologies, such as the internet
(Information Literacy, 2000). A new framework, called the Framework for Information Literacy for
Higher Education is a more flexible model to the current evidence-based standards to realize
deeper and more complex core information literacy ideas. The framework is emphasized to
denote its structural ability of cluster core concepts tied to reflective actions for implementation.
It can be thought of as an evolving and modular-like model to the static or prescriptive set of
principles and outcomes the current information literacy standards uses (Framework for
Information Literacy, 2015).
Focusing on metaliteracy, or an umbrella set of abilities for students to successfully
collaborate as a consumer and creator of information, the Framework employs six individual

frameworks that utilizes metaliteracy concepts. This is in essence a holistic-like approach to

conceptual learning and metacognation, or critical self-reflection. The Framework on a conceptual
level uses threshold concepts to innovate and evolve any particular field of study through
information literacy, with knowledge practices to demonstrate how learners can further their
knowledge of information literacy concepts, and dispositions that examines the valuing of learning
itself. This framework attempts to achieve the possibility of redesigning from an instructional to a
curricula level through wider and deeper reaches into teaching and learning pedagogical research
and assessment of learning on campus (Framework for Information Literacy, 2015).
To develop the framework further, ACRL had invited seventy library and educational
organizations to provide feedback to the June draft of the framework model in 2014 (Encouraging
feedback). More recently, the final draft of the Framework was voted in February 2nd, 2015. Most
ACRL members seem excited for the framework model, while some members offered perspectives
for inclusion or the lack of inclusion of the current standards to the framework model. The ACRL
Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy will spend the next couple of years training
member leaders to implement the model for librarians to learn how to implement into their
libraries (Williams, 2015).
Just as the internet and information literacy standards change with the times, for better or
for worse, the physical spaces in academic libraries are changing as well. One such physical space
change is the integration of the Makerspace culture, typically seen in public libraries, but in recent
times in academic libraries as well. A Makerspace is a physical space for Makers, or people
creating a product, to create increasingly specialized materials differentiating the near identical
collections of other libraries from knowledge and robots to meals and apps (Colegrove, 2014,

p.7). Started back in 2005, Makerspaces were born from the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement. Each
Makerspace is defined by their purpose and not by their current equipment, such as, a 3D printer
and arts and crafts (Fisher, 2012). Currently, academic libraries may see whiteboard wall paint and
an increase number of furniture to support Makerspace collaborations (Colegrove, 2014, p.22).
The academic library can be seen as a [p]rocess facilitator, a [r]elationship enabler and
builder, a [t]echnology tutor, and fostering experimentation, play, and creativity (Miller, 2014).
Through this space of hands-on exploration and participatory learning process, students and
members of the academic community can be engaged in an activity that develops critical thinking
and problem solving skills that traditional education may tend to devalue or emphasize less. As
homework assignments reach out to more than just papers, libraries can meet the changing needs
for hands-on experimentation with provided tools, materials, and learning. Makerspaces may even
produce new, cross-disciplinary interactions as well (Fisher, 2012). Some comments like I dont
have the room or about liability may limit Makerspace collaboration activities (Colegrove, 2014, p.
45, 48). If that is the case experienced at ones home library, educational goals should be leading
the creation decision of a Makerspace in ones library and assure the above and other concerns
(Fisher, 2012).
More and more academic libraries seem to value and incorporate Makerspaces into their
physical spaces. Academic libraries such as the College of San Mateo library offers crafty
makerspace workshops, events, and skill-sharing, while the University of Michigans Art,
Architecture, and Engineering Library offers the 3D lab, allowing students and the academic
community to 3D printing and scanning, motion capture, and virtual reality. Southern New
Hampshire University's Shapiro Library offers a wide range of equipment tools to trainings and

workshops. Even the library at William Jewell College offers a makerspace designed for
audio/visual creation and editing, and innovation studios that allow green screens for students to
use in collaboration projects (Ginsberg). As time moves forward, more varieties of tools,
equipment, and services from the Makerspace movement will further define and evolve unique
academic libraries from increasingly identical collections.
In defining how Net Neutrality, Information Literacy Competencys new framework, and
Makerspaces in the academic physical space all affect or may affect the current and future states
of the academic libraries. With politics allowing the internet unabated for scholarly
communications to develop a new framework that fits seemingly well into incorporating a new
physical space movement like Makerspace, the academic library is adapting reasonably well to the
changing times. More challenges and opportunities will arise, but each one will provide growth for
the novice and expert librarian alike to provide a positive impact to the Universitys mission and
student and faculty success in Higher Education.

Reference List
American Library Association (2014). Higher education, library groups release Net Neutrality Principles.
Retrieved from
American Library Association (n.d.). Network Neutrality. Retrieved from
Association of College & Research Libraries (n.d.) Encouraging feedback from diverse stakeholders on
draft Framework. Retrieved from

Association of College & Research Libraries (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher
Education. Retrieved from
Association of College & Research Libraries (2000). Information Literacy Competency Standards for
Higher Education. Retrieved from
Association of College & Research Libraries (2011). Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.
Retrieved from
Colegrove, T. (2014). Maker Spaces in Academic Libraries. Retrieved from
Enis, M. (2015). ALA, ARL Applaud FCC Vote on Net Neutrality. Retrieved from
Fisher, E. (2012). Makerspaces Move into Academic Libraries. Retrieved from
Ginsberg, S. (n.d.). Makerspaces in Libraries. Retrieved from
Jackson, J. (n.d.) Keeping Up With... Net Neutrality. Retrieved from
Miller, K. (2014) Is there room for a maker space in the academic library? Retrieved from
Williams, K. (2015). More from the ACRL Board on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher
Education. Retrieved from