Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners

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Today's learners communicate, create, and share information using a range of information technologies such as social media, blogs, microblogs, wikis, mobile devices and apps, virtual worlds, and MOOCs. In Metaliteracy, respected information literacy experts Mackey and Jacobson present a comprehensive structure for information literacy theory that builds on decades of practice while recognizing the knowledge required for an expansive and interactive information environment. The concept of metaliteracy expands the scope of traditional information skills (determine, access, locate, understand, produce, and use information) to include the collaborative production and sharing of information in participatory digital environments (collaborate, produce, and share) prevalent in today's world. Combining theory and case studies, the authors

  • Show why media literacy, visual literacy, digital literacy, and a host of other specific literacies are critical for informed citizens in the twenty-first century
  • Offer a framework for engaging in today's information environments as active, selfreflective, and critical contributors to these collaborative spaces
  • Connect metaliteracy to such topics as metadata, the Semantic Web, metacognition, open education, distance learning, and digital storytelling

This cutting-edge approach to information literacy will help your students grasp an understanding of the critical thinking and reflection required to engage in technology spaces as savvy producers, collaborators, and sharers.

AcknowledgmentsForeword by Sheila A. WebberPreface Chapter 1: Developing a Metaliteracy Framework to Promote Metacognitive LearningMetaliteracyThe Meta in MetaliteracyMetacognitionToward a Metaliteracy Framework

Multiple IntelligencesMultiliteraciesMultimodal LiteracyTransliteracyMetacompetency and Convergence

The Metaliteracy ModelConclusionReferences Chapter 2: Metaliteracy in the Open Age of Social MediaTrends in Social Media

Social and Visual NetworkingBlogs and MicroblogsGlobal Mobility

From Information Age to Post-Information Age

The Information AgeThe Post-Information Age

The Open Age of Social Media

ParticipationOpennessMetadata and the Semantic Web

ConclusionReferences Chapter 3: Developing the Metaliterate Learner by Integrating Competencies and Expanding Learning ObjectivesRelated LiteraciesDiscrete Literacies

Media LiteracyDigital LiteracyCyberliteracyVisual LiteracyMobile LiteracyCritical Information LiteracyHealth Literacy

Combined Literacies

TransliteracyNew Media LiteracyICT LiteracyInformation Fluency

Metaliteracy Learning Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Evaluate content critically, including dynamic, online content that changes and evolves, such as article preprints, blogs, and wikisGoal 2: Understand personal privacy, information ethics, and intellectual property issues in changing technology environmentsGoal 3: Share information and collaborate in a variety of participatory environmentsGoal 4: Demonstrate ability to connect learning and research strategies with lifelong learning processes and personal, academic, and professional goalsIntegrating the Four DomainsThe Metaliterate Learner

ConclusionReferences Chapter 4: Global Trends in Emerging LiteraciesInternational Trends in Open EducationLiteracy Initiatives from International Organizations

UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy


The Prague Declaration: Anticipating Later MIL Initiatives


The Bologna Process and the Tuning Project

Evolving Information Literacy Frameworks

Examples of Recent Information Literacy Frameworks

United Kingdom: Seven Pillars of Information Literacy

2011 SCONUL Seven Pillars Model

Revised Pillars and Graphical Representation

Convergences between Metaliteracy and the Seven Pillar Models

Adaptations via Lenses

Hong Kong: Information Literacy Framework for Hong Kong Students

ConclusionReferences Chapter 5: Survey of the Field: From Theoretical Frameworks to PraxisResearch Questions Methods

Survey DesignDistribution Method


Response RateDemographicsSurvey Results
Teaching Background

Technology Infrastructure and Support

Knowledge of Literacies and Literacy Frameworks

Components of Information Literacy Teaching

Changing Information Environment

Data Analysis

AgeLiteracies to Include in Information Literacy InstructionPreparation Levels and Required Technologies 

Discussion and Implications for Further Research

PopulationsIncreased Awareness of Evolving LiteraciesThe State of the Literature/The State of Awareness

ConclusionReferencesAppendix 5.1: Survey—Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy Chapter 6: The Evolution of a Dedicated Information Literacy Course Toward MetaliteracyEvolving Information Literacy General Education RequirementTransformations to the Final Project in the Information Literacy Course Taught by Librarians

Team-Based Learning and Its Effect on the Research GuideTopic Selection for Final ProjectsImplementation of Wiki

Goals for the Project Revision

Analysis of Wiki Project Based on Elements of TransparencyStudent Perceptions of Wiki

Additional Metaliteracy ElementsEvolution Toward Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy 

Expanded Information Literacy General Education CourseA New, Social Media-Focused CourseApplication Exercises to Enhance Metaliteracy Skills by Gregory Bobish
Exercise 1: YouTube Video Removal Exercise 

Exercise 2: Primary Information: Finding Experts via Blogs and Twitter

Remix Final Project

Expanding Discomfort, Expanding KnowledgeReferences Chapter 7: Exploring Digital Storytelling from a Metaliteracy PerspectiveInstitutional Context

SUNY Empire State CollegeCenter for Distance LearningCollege-Level Learning Goals

Digital StorytellingLearning Design

Learning ObjectivesCreating Digital Stories

Mapping the Metaliteracy Model to Digital StorytellingConclusionReferences About the AuthorsIndex

Thomas P. Mackey

Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D., is Professor of Arts and Media in the School of Arts and Humanities at State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College. His research into metaliteracy, a pedagogical framework he originated with Prof. Trudi E. Jacobson develops learners as reflective, informed, and self-directed producers of information. They both lead the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative to advance metaliteracy research, writing, teaching, grant projects, open educational resources (OER), and the design of innovative learning environments. He and Prof. Jacobson have both been invited to keynote on metaliteracy in the United States and internationally. They provide updates on their research through their collaborative blog at Prof. Mackey served as Associate Dean and Dean of the Center for Distance Learning (CDL), and in senior management roles as Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Interim Provost. He teaches courses in History & Theory of New Media, Information Design, Digital Storytelling, and Ethics of Digital Art & Design and has developed several international Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) about metaliteracy. His faculty website is:

Trudi E. Jacobson

Trudi E. Jacobson, MLS, MA, Distinguished Librarian, was the Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany for many years, retiring in 2022. In 2021, she was appointed an Extraordinary Professor in the Self-Directed Learning Research Unit of the Faculty of Education, North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. She has been deeply involved with teaching and information literacy throughout her career, and from 2013–2015 cochaired the Association of College and Research Libraries Task Force that created the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. With Prof. Thomas P. Mackey, she codeveloped metaliteracy. Her most recent work focuses on open pedagogy and how the students’ learning experience can be enhanced in such settings by metaliteracy. She regularly teaches an information literacy course for upper-level undergraduates that uses editing in Wikipedia as a way to understand core concepts from metaliteracy and information literacy, as well as an information literacy instruction graduate course, and has taught a first-year experience course in which students created an OER for other first-year students ( She is the coauthor or coeditor of fourteen books, including three about metaliteracy, and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Prof. Jacobson received the ACRL Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award in 2009. Her website is

"This book is of great value to any librarian seeking to find ways to integrate literacy into a classroom. It will also be useful to any instructional designer wanting to integrate the ever-growing number of literacies into the development sessions offered to faculty."

"A broad audience of educators at many levels will benefit from this well constructed, formatted, and developed study of how best to reach today's learners."
— Catholic Library World

"A valuable contribution to the discussion of information and related literacies that successfully pushes the discussion into areas of reflective learning and acknowledges the challenges and opportunities of new technologies. The volume will likely be of interest to instruction librarians, especially in higher education settings, and to library science faculty who teach in areas of library instruction and information and related literacies."
— Library & Information Science Research

"The authors do an excellent job explaining the theoretical framework for their metaliteracy model, and anyone with an interest in the future of information literacy would find this section thought-provoking … The imminent completion of the ACRL Framework makes this book a timely and valuable addition to the ongoing debate about the future of information literacy."
— Portal

"A concise, informative, and well-written volume. Their style and voice have the practiced ease of familiarity."
— Serials Review