Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018



The current political and cultural polarization in the United States and other countries has significant implications for all educational institutions and for libraries and librarians. The interrelated issues of trust, credibility, and authority now present major challenges because of the uncertainty of the social media environment, competing information “bubbles,” and enduring cognitive biases. The accelerating fragmentation of the media and information ecosystems undermines communal understanding of large and complex issues that citizens must face. To address this profound societal challenge, academic librarians should collaborate with faculty members to create communities of inquiry for students—sustained “high impact practices” that address the complexity of the current information environment. This article shows one model for using the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education to create learning goals for a range of in-depth learning experiences that cultivate habits of mind essential to discernment in the current political and cultural climate.


Publisher Acknowledgement

This is the publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association:

Gibson, C., & Jacobson, T. (2018). Habits of Mind in an Uncertain Information World. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 57(3), 183-192. doi:



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