Seven Pillars of Information Literacy

A model defining core abilities and understandings of information literacy in higher education.

Seven pillars model

In 1999, The SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy published “Information skills in higher education: a SCONUL position paper” (SCONUL, 1999), introducing the Seven Pillars of Information Skills model. Since then, the model has been adopted by librarians and teachers around the world as a means of helping them to deliver information skills to their learners. The model was revised in 2011, and then reviewed in 2015. 

SCONUL endeavours to keep this work up-to-date an a changing educational environment through regular reviews and lenses for different users. 

Reviews of the model

Review of core model (2015) (pdf)

Core model (updated in 2011) (pdf)


Graduate employability- full report (2015) (pdf) 

Graduate employability - lens only (2015) (pdf)

(for more resources related to employability, see our employability toolkit)

Digital literacy lens - lens only (2013) (pdf)

Open Content / Open Educational Resources lens (2013) (pdf)

Research lens - full report (2011) (pdf)

Further resources

A study on the use of SCONUL Seven Pillars (2009) (pdf)

Original model: a briefing paper on information skills in higher education (1999) (pdf)