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Librarians ‘recycle’ snappy mnemonic aid for student information literacy

Rob LeBlanc, first-year experience/humanities librarian, and Barbara Quintiliano, nursing/life sciences and instructional services librarian, recently published an article, “Recycling C.R.A.P.: Reframing a Popular Mnemonic for Library Instruction,” in Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice, volume 3, number 2 (Fall 2015).

Librarians, Barbara Quintiliano and Rob LeBlanc, with their manuscript

Librarians Barbara Quintiliano and Rob LeBlanc, with their manuscript

Quintiliano and LeBlanc were interested in applying the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education that was adopted by the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) in 2015. This Framework replaced the previous Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The two librarians were reshaping their information literacy programs to incorporate the new Framework.

Quintiliano explains, “Rob and I were tossing around ideas one day about how the new Framework could be applied, and we thought of the C.R.A.P. acronym which had been used by instruction librarians … to teach students how to evaluate information, especially information that they find on the web. With a bit of imagination and prestidigitation, we were able to transform the acronym into a concise, snappy way of conveying the Framework concepts to first-year students. As first-year librarian, Rob immediately started to put it into practice.”

Quintiliano and LeBlanc originally hoped to present a session on the topic at the fall 2015 Pennsylvania Libraries Association conference. That conference, however, already had more proposals than time slots available, so the organizers suggested the topic would make an interesting article for Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice.  Consequently, the two collaborated on the article, which was accepted for publication.

What is C.R.A.P. in the context of library instruction? According to LeBlanc and Quintiliano it stands for “Conversation, Revision, Authority and Property.” These concepts are taught by the authors so that students can properly evaluate information needed to write college-level research papers. The full article can be accessed here.


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Last Modified: December 16, 2015