The Information Fluency Framework

By Carmel Grimmett

New South Wales has recently introduced a new framework to support information literacy. SCIS speaks to Department of Education Library Coordinator Carmel Grimmett about how this framework may prove useful for library staff across the country.

The Information Fluency Framework (IFF) is a new tool for teacher librarians in primary and secondary settings. The IFF is the primary source of information outcomes and processes for teacher librarians in the NSW Department of Education to use together with Information skills in the school as a support document to the library policy.

What is the Information Fluency Framework?

Information fluency is the ability to critically think while engaging with, creating and utilising information and technology, regardless of the information platform or medium. (IFF p. 4)

The IFF was formulated in response to an identified need to support students to develop skills required for global citizenship. The Framework was developed collaboratively between 2018 and 2021 by a large group of teacher librarians working in the NSW Department of Education.

The skills in the IFF are (mainly) found in the general capabilities, which are now incorporated into every learning area syllabus. The Information Fluency Framework provides a structure for teacher librarians and teachers to use so they can work collaboratively to develop these skills in students. (IFF p. 5)


The IFF is a series of statements arranged along a progression from Early Stage 1 to Stage 6. It is divided into five elements: 

  • Social
  • Literate
  • Innovative
  • Critical
  • Ethical

These are referred to by the acronym ‘SLICE’. These elements encourage teacher librarians to develop learning tasks from a range of viewpoints and explore them with their students.

Each of the elements is divided into strands which position students as consumers or creators of information (You can find an accessible version of the chart below on a separate page). 


This chart describes the attributes contained within each of the 5 learning elements.

Uses of the Information Fluency Framework

I was one of a small group of primary and secondary teacher librarians who participated in an IFF pilot project in Term 2, 2021. My positive experience prompted me to seek out the voices of others who participated in the pilot project. The results were published in the online education journal Scan

While there is no prescribed way to approach the IFF, there are many valid ways to use this flexible tool to support library programs. As a publicly available document, the IFF is free for all teacher librarians to use regardless of their educational setting. Here are some suggested ways to begin using the IFF:

  • Try exploring the IFF through a Stage checklist (see next page). The Stage checklists are available as an appendix to the IFF.
  • If you like starting from scratch, try the elements as a guide to the process. If you start with the Social element you can model best practice by considering the interests of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as you commence your planning.  
  • If you have an existing unit which you would like to review, you can do so by using the Stage checklists to audit your document, ticking off outcomes to gauge whether there are elements missing from your program. If the unit includes assessment tasks, start by matching those to IFF outcomes and work out into other areas of the unit. 
  • If you are compiling a LearnPath or LibGuide, the IFF can guide your selection of resources for inclusion in the guides and highlight areas where those perspectives are missing.
  • Here’s a challenge – find a text for which you need to write some learning resources. Examine the text for themes or sections that align with the five elements of the IFF. Use the IFF outcomes for inspiration and focus as you design the learning resources.  
  • Using picture books with sophisticated themes is a powerful teaching practice to engage older students. There are loads of great curriculum-linked teaching resources based on picture books available as Shared Practice and Resource Kits (SPaRKs) on the Scan website. You can find them here: Perhaps these resources will SPaRK your imagination!

Social Learning Progression

The IFF outcomes are aligned with sub-elements, which fit within each strand. This shows the Social element for the students as consumers strand:

Learning Stage K S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6

1. Appreciate and resolve diverse perspectives

express their opinions and listen to the opinions of others in given situations

identify the perspectives of others

identify and describe shared perspectives within and across various cultural groups

describe various perspectives on an issue

explain perspectives that differ, to expand their understanding of an issue

present diverse perspectives and the assumptions on which they are based

present diverse perspectives and the assumptions on which they are based

2. Understand how information is affected by cultural knowledge beliefs and practices

identify other cultures in their learning group to see how this affects information use

identify and explore culturally diverse activities and languages

describe and compare the way their own and other cultures live and communicate with people in other places or times

describe and compare a range of cultural stories, events, artefacts and communication methods

describe and compare the knowledge, beliefs and practices of various cultural groups

identify factors that contribute to understanding in intercultural communication and discuss some strategies to avoid misunderstanding

analyse the complex nature of information, knowledge, beliefs and practices to understand and enhance communication

3. Empathise across cultures

IFFKS.1.3 show an awareness of the feelings, needs and interests of others

IFF1S.1.3 imagine and describe their own feelings if they were put in someone else's place

IFF2S.1.3 imagine and describe the feelings of others in a range of unfamiliar contexts

describe the situations of others in local, national and global contexts

describe the feelings of others in situations across local, national and global contexts

describe the feelings and motivations of people in different situations

recognise the effect that empathising with others has on their own feelings, motivations and actions

Stage 3 checklist

Checklists for each stage are found in the appendix to the IFF. This is the Stage 3 checklist.

Social Literate Innovative Critical Ethical
IFF3S.1.1 describe various perspectives on an issue

IFF3L.1.1 independently locate and access information or literary texts and viewpoints

IFF3I.1.1 pose questions to expand and interpret information

IFF3C.1.1 discuss emotions and thoughts in response to different information sources

IFF3E.1.1 explain what constitutes an ethical decision and how it might be reached

IFF3S.1.2 describe and compare a range of cultural stories, events, artefacts and communication methods

IFF3L.1.2 interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing texts on similar topics or themes, including multimedia texts

IFF3S.1.2 expand on known ideas to create new ideas or understandings

IFF3C.1.2 use evidence to choose a course of action or reach a conclusion

IFF3E.1.2 discuss the consequence of different actions in relation to information use

IFF3S.1.3 describe the situations of others in local, national and global contexts

IFF3L.1.3 compare and contrast information between texts


IFF3C.1.3 identify and clarify relevant information and opinions and prioritise ideas

IFF3S.2.1 cooperatively develop information / knowledge using group expertise

IFF3L.2.1 compose texts for a range of purposes by selecting and discarding ideas to make texts suitable for familiar audiences and purposes

IFF3I.2.1 create and refine ideas and possibilities, suggesting alternative solutions

IFF3C.2.1 construct and demonstrate an idea

IFF3E.2.1 identify what constitutes an ethical decision and how it might be reached when creating information

IFF3S.2.2 discuss the value of diverse perspectives and describe a point  of view that is different to their own

IFF3L.2.2 plan and deliver presentations, incorporating learned content and appropriate visual and multimodal elements

IFF3I.2.2 assess and test options to pout ideas into action

IFF3C.2.2 use cause-effect statements to explain a claim, conclusion or outcome

IFF3E.2.2 identify the consequences of ethical decision-making in relation to information creation

IFF3S.2.3 identify a community need or problem and consider ways to act  to address it

IFF3S.2.3 identify a community need or problem and consider ways to act  to address it


IFF3S.2.3 identify a community need or problem and consider ways to act  to address it

 IFF3E.2.3 apply rights and responsibilities when creating information

Opportunities to collaborate

The IFF represents an opportunity to build on the work of a collaborative group of teacher librarians. I encourage you to seek out a colleague and collaborate as you explore the IFF. Let the Framework guide you to trial new teaching strategies so your students meet IFF outcomes. Perhaps using the Framework will bring a new focus to your programming.


Grimmett, C. (2021). Trialling the Information Fluency Framework: A report from the pilot schools. Scan, 40(9).

NSW Department of Education (2021). Information Fluency Framework

Carmel Grimmett

Library Coordinator

New South Wales Department of Education

Carmel Grimmett is Library Coordinator with the NSW Department of Education. For twenty years, Carmel was teacher librarian at a large primary school in the inner west of Sydney. Before becoming a teacher, she worked as a children’s librarian in the public library system. Carmel has previously served on the committee of her local teacher librarian network, and has acted as a mentor for newly graduated teacher librarians in NSW public schools. In 2021, Carmel participated in the Information Fluency Framework pilot program, writing a Scan article on the experiences of participants.