On Jan. 4, Gov. Phil Murphy signed S-588 into law (P.L.2022, c.138), requiring school districts to incorporate instruction on information literacy in an appropriate place in the K-12 curriculum as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.
The New Jersey Department of Education will be required to develop information literacy standards in its next required update of the NJSLS. The law defines “information literacy” to mean “a set of skills that enables an individual to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information. Information literacy includes, but is not limited to, digital, visual, media, textual, and technological literacy.”
Under the bipartisan law, the NJDOE’s information literacy standards will address topics such as:
- The research process and how information is created and produced.
- Critical thinking and using information resources.
- The difference between facts, points of view and opinions.
- The economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information
To ensure collaboration among relevant experts in advancing K-12 information literacy, the law requires NJDOE to consult school library media specialists, teachers and other experts in their development of the standards, and to hold regional public hearings prior to adoption of the standards. Districts are required to include their school library media specialist whenever possible in developing curriculum to implement the standards.
The New Jersey School Boards Association supported the legislation. A copy of a press release issued by the governor upon signing the bill into law can be found here.