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NFIL Milestones

“I took the one less traveled by… and that has made the difference.”   Robert Frost, 1920




Established in 1989 by the American Library Association, the National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL) has evolved into one of the pre-eminent advocacy organizations dedicated to mainstreaming information literacy philosophy and practice worldwide. It has an impressive 20 year legacy. Information literacy is at the heart of lifelong learning and personal responsibility. It provides the 21st century skill set needed for any learner and/or worker to thrive and compete effectively in today’s global economy. As we move further into the 21st century, information literacy will become the standard-bearer for academic achievement, workforce productivity, competitive advantage, and national security.

NFIL Milestones: 1989-2012


1989 American Library Association’s Presidential Committee on Information Literacy establishes the National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL).

1991 The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development adopted a resolution demonstrating its commitment to the importance of information literacy.

1992 The ERIC education database (http://eric.ed.gov) began to use “information literacy” as a descriptor.

1993 The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Higher Education became the first accreditation agency to promote this core skill as an essential undergraduate learning outcome.

1997 The National Education Association (NEA) made a commitment to embed information literacy in their teacher education initiatives.

1998 NFIL published the first information literacy progress report. (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/whitepapers/progressreport.cfm)

1998 The American Association of School Libraries and the Association of Educational Communications and Technology published Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning for students in K-12.

1999 The American Association for Higher Education endorsed the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

2000 The American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) endorsed the ACRL information literacy college standards; one of only two times that AAHE endorsed a policy position.


2003 NFIL, UNESCO, and NCLIS held the first international information literacy experts meeting in Prague, resulting in the Prague Declaration. http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/files/19636/11228863531PragueDeclaration.pdf/PragueDeclaration.

2003 NFIL established the International Alliance on Information Literacy.

2004 The Partnership for 21st Century Skills identifies information literacy as a key student learning outcome.


Alexandria Information Literacy Expert Coalition, 2005

2005 UNESCO/IFLA/NFIL sponsored symposium of information literacy experts in Alexandria, Egypt, producing the Alexandria Proclamation.

2006 First National Information Literacy Summit in the U.S. – Co Sponsored by the National Forum, Committee for Economic Development, Institute for a Competitive Workforce, National Education Association, Educational Testing Service, and the National Forum.

2006 The National Center for Education Statistics Academic Library Survey began to include questions about information literacy.

2007 Purdue University established the first endowed chair in information literacy, named for W. Wayne Booker, past Chief  Financial  Officer of Ford Motor Corporation.


Dr. F. Woody Horton, Wuhan University, 2008

2007 UNESCO published Understanding Information Literacy:  A Primer by Dr. F. Woody Horton, one of the conveners of the 2003 Prague and Alexandria.

2008 The Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 2008 included information literacy as a necessary skill for teacher professional development.

2008 The American Association of Community Colleges published a position statement on information literacy (http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Positions/Pages/ps05052008.aspx).

2008 The National Council of Teachers of English included information literacy skills in its Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment.

2009 President Obama issues a  presidential proclamation establishing October National Information Literacy Awareness Month.


oin Us, Empower Your Community, Promote Information Literacy!

October National Information Literacy Awareness Month 2012

2011 Massachusetts becomes the first state to issue a gubernatorial information literacy proclamation.

2012 National Forum kicks off a national campaign to elicit gubernatorial proclamations from all 50 states and U.S. territories.








Reference: Weiner, Sharon and Jackman, Lana W. (2010). Information literacy beyond the library: The national forum on information literacy. College & Undergraduate Libraries. V.17 N1.114 – 120