Metaliteracy was first introduced in a 2011 article co-authored by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson entitled Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy. At that time, both the definition of information literacy and the teaching principles expressed in the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) were seriously outdated due to fast-moving changes in the social information environment. Information production, rather than consumption, was possible in ways not previously available, as was collaboration development of content. 

Book cover for Metaliteracy in a Connected World

The idea of learner as producer is central to the metaliteracy model and is the primary focus of the latest book Metaliteracy in a Connected World: Developing Learners as Producers. This book is co-authored by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson and presents a fully developed metaliteracy model with core components that include learning domains, learner roles, characteristics, and goals and learning objectives. It also investigates the relationship between metaliteracy and self-directed learning, multimodality, open pedagogy, digital citizenship, and developing a growth mindset.

Metaliteracy Book Cover
Metaliteracy (2014)

The first book about this pedagogical model is Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners, written by Mackey and Jacobson. It expands upon the first article from 2011 and describes metaliteracy in more detail, including its meta prefix, with a focus on metacognition and the Greek definition to mean after or beyond, and introduced the metaliterate learner roles and domains that are central to this approach. Various aspects of social media, open education, and global trends in emerging literacies are examined. The second section of the book moves from the theoretical to praxis, with a survey connected to information-related literacies, and case studies of two undergraduate courses, including digital storytelling.

Metaliteracy in Practice (2016)

Two edited books explore applications of metaliteracy in a wide range of college courses and institutions. In the edited volume Metaliteracy in Practice (2016) Jacobson and Mackey worked with multiple authors who contributed effective applications of metaliteracy in social media pedagogy, Nursing education, library instruction, the Renaissance Drama classroom, and undergraduate education.

Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World (2018)

In the third Metaliteracy book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World, Mackey and Jacobson worked with authors to address the role and importance of metaliteracy in today’s truth-challenged world. The framing chapter for this volume, Empowering Metaliterate Learners for the Post-Truth World introduced a new figure by Mackey and Jacobson that defined the Characteristics of Metaliterate Learning that is now a key aspect of the framework.

Metaliteracy has also been considered as the foundation and guiding principle of several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), its core role in the content of a digital badging system, and its influence on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015). 

Book chapters and articles, as well as books written or edited by members of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative about metaliteracy are listed here:


Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson.  Metaliteracy in a Connected World: Developing Learners as Producers. Chicago: Neal-Schuman/ALA Editions, 2022. 

Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson, eds. Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2019.

Trudi E. Jacobson and Thomas P. Mackey, eds. Metaliteracy in Practice. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman and London: Facet, 2016.

Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson.  Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners. Chicago: Neal-Schuman/ALA Editions and London; Facet, 2014. 

Book Chapters

Jacobson, Trudi E.; Mackey, Thomas P.; and Olivier, Jako, “Aligning Metaliteracy with Self-directed Learning to Expand Assessment Opportunitiesp” (2021). University Libraries Faculty Scholarship. 169.  

Jacobson, Trudi E.; Mackey, Thomas P.; and O’Brien, Kelsey L., “Visualizing the Convergence of Metaliteracy and the Information Literacy Framework” (2021). University Libraries Faculty Scholarship. 149.

Mackey, T.P., “Exploring Metaliterate Learning through the Frames of Information Literacy.” In Julien, Gross, Latham (Eds.). Implementing the ACRL Framework in Libraries and Pre-Service LIS Education: Case Studies from the Field. Rowman and Littlefield. (2020).

Mackey, T.P., “Empowering Metaliterate Learners for a Post-Truth World.” In Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World. ed. by Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2019.

O’Brien, K.L. “Failing Better: Scaffolding Learning with the Metaliteracy Badging System.” In Teaching with Digital Badges: Best Practices and Library Case Studies, ed. by Kelsey L. O’Brien and Trudi E. Jacobson.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. 

Refereed Articles

Mackey, T. P. (2020). Embedding Metaliteracy in the Design of a Post-Truth MOOC: Building Communities of Trust. Communications in Information Literacy, 14 (2), 346–361.

Trudi E. Jacobson and Sally Friedman. “Teaching Critical Thinking and Metaliteracy Through OER: Theory and Practice in a Course Collaboration.” IJOER, v.2 no. 1, 2019/2020, pp.173-190.

Kelsey L. O’Brien, Michele Forte, Thomas P. Mackey, and Trudi E. Jacobson, “Metaliteracy as Pedagogical Framework for Learner-Centered Design in Three MOOC Platforms: Connectivist, Coursera and Canvas.” Open Praxis, v.9 no. 3, 2017, pp. 267-286

Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson, “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy.” College & Research Libraries, v. 72 no. 1, 2011, pp. 62-78. (Selected to be included in “LIRT’s Top Twenty” library instruction articles of 2011).

Conference Papers

Trudi E. Jacobson, Thomas P. Mackey, and Kelsey L. O’Brien, “Developing Metaliterate Citizens: Designing and Delivering Enhanced Global Learning Opportunities.” Conference on Learning Information Literacy Across the Globe. Frankfurt am Main, May 10, 2019.

Jamshid Beheshti, Dania Bilal, Thomas P. Mackey,  Louise Limberg, Joan C. Bartlett, Jacek Gwidzdka, Trudi Jacobson, and Yusuke Ishimura, “Information Literacy: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice.” Panel presentation at the 2016 ASIS&T meeting in Copenhagen. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, v. 53 no. 1, 2016.

Non-refereed Articles

Mackey, T. (2021). Translating a Blended Cyprus Residency Study in the Digital Arts to Online. All About Mentoring, Issue 55 (Autumn, 2021), 37-42.

Hill, V., & Mackey, T. (2021). Embracing metaliteracy: Metamodern libraries and virtual learning communities. College & Research Libraries News, 82(5), 219. doi:

Trudi E. Jacobson. Promoting Student Learning and Digital Age Literacy Through Metaliteracy. Academia Letters, Article 42. December 2020.

Trudi E. Jacobson. Analyzing Information Sources Through the Lens of the ACRL Framework: A Case Study of Wikipedia. Communications in Information Literacy, 14 (2), 2020, 362–377.

Trudi E. Jacobson and Thomas P. Mackey, “Why You Should Fight for Metaliteracy on Your Campus.” HigherEdJobs, November 12, 2018.

Craig Gibson and Trudi E. Jacobson. “Habits of Mind in an Uncertain Information World.” Reference & User Services Quarterly, v. 57 no. 3, 2018.

Diane Fulkerson, Susan Ariew and Trudi Jacobson. “Revisiting Metacognition and Metaliteracy in the ACRL Framework.” Communications in Information Literacy, v. 11 no. 1, 2017, pp. 21-41.

Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi Jacobson. “How Can We Learn to Reject Fake News in the Digital World?” The Conversation, December 5, 2016.

Trudi Jacobson and Thomas P. Mackey, “Can’t Seem to Stop those Ads Following You Around? Why Not Become Metaliterate?” The Conversation, August 7, 2015.

Trudi E. Jacobson and Thomas P. Mackey, “Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy.Communications in Information Literacy, v. 7 no. 2, 2013, pp. 84-91.