Information Literacy Curriculum

Mansfield Library's information literacy curriculum is based on the Association of College & Research Libraries' Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Our library faculty focus on reaching students in the following ways:

  • instruction in first-year experience classes
  • instruction in advanced college writing courses
  • instruction in research-focused graduate courses and graduate student orientations
  • workshops
  • credit classes taught by library faculty
  • individual research assistance and consultations

At every opportunity, librarians seek to facilitate the successful delivery of information literacy content by teaching faculty in the disciplines. Librarians may provide consultative services to teaching faculty to develop research assignments; promote the use of tutorials and other learning materials; and encourage student engagement at the Reference Desk and research consultations.

First-year Experience

The strategic integration of information literacy into the curriculum begins with first-year initiatives that serve as the basis for information literacy instruction in the disciplines at the intermediate and advanced levels. The first-year curriculum integration is designed to reach students in courses that are a part of the standard university curriculum, particularly Introductory College Writing, and in required courses with a large enrollment.

Targeted First-year Courses

  • College Writing I
  • College Writing I Plus
  • Introduction to Public Speaking

Intermediate College Writing Courses

Library-curated online learning objects can be customized and integrated into courses in Moodle, include assessment options, and are discoverable for self-study. This information literacy integration builds on the Introductory College Writing integration at the first-year level.

Advanced College Writing Courses

The integration of information literacy continues to address the university Writing Course Guidelines in Advanced College Writing courses. Librarians collaborate with faculty to integrate required information literacy learning outcomes into their courses. Librarians may provide instruction, learning materials or online resources, or partner with faculty to design research activities or assignments.

Graduate Education

Instruction is provided in graduate courses and graduate student orientations, per faculty or program request, as well as in workshops.


Workshops that address specific student research needs, such as navigating copyright, finding government information, managing references, and conducting a literature review, are offered periodically.

Credit Classes

  • LSCI 210Y Who Owns Culture? An Introduction to Copyright
  • ENST 201 Environmental Information Resources
  • Special topics courses, independent study, and internships are periodically offered

Individual and Small Group Research Assistance and Consultations

  • Librarians maintain availability for individual and small group research assistance.
  • Librarians and reference employees provide research assistance at the Reference Desk and via phone, email and live chat.

Information Literacy Modules

In spring 2020, the library began implementing Credo’s Information Literacy – Core into the curriculum design to address students’ foundational information literacy skills. The text, self-guided tutorials, multimedia and videos, and quizzes in each module are mapped to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, can be customized and integrated into courses in Moodle, include assessment options, and are discoverable by students for self-study on the website.

Learning Outcomes

The following information literacy knowledge practices and dispositions address all six frames of the ACRL Framework, are adapted to the learning environment at the University of Montana, and are organized by facets of research adapted from the Researcher Skill Development framework.

[Table outlines learning outcomes for the information literacy curriculum, divided by knowledge practice and stage in the learning process]
Knowledge Practice
Orient & Position Experience
Recognize the current information practices that are part of your life.
Acknowledge how personal experiences, identities and diverse ways of knowing impact and shape information practices and beliefs.
*Understand how authority is constructed in the academic environment.
Reflect on information positionality.
Understand your role in creating and contributing to both academic and real-world information value systems and diverse ways of knowing.

*Understand how authority is constructed in the academic environment.
Consider the ways in which you will engage and enact information literacy in your academic and work practices, as well as its role in life-long learning and your community participation.
*Understand how authority is constructed in the academic environment.
Begin & Scope
Identify information needs and research questions.
Identify key stakeholders who are interested in the topic and might produce information.
Distinguish between search systems (e.g., search engines, discovery systems, proprietary databases, institutional repositories).
Recognize and assess the value and distinctness of information resources (e.g. organization website; peer-reviewed journal article; oral traditions; personal knowledge), including their scope, audience and intent.
Choose and state a research topic; use research to refine topic.
Recognize and critique the ways in which sources are utilized by different disciplines; for different purposes; and within different cultures and spaces.
Recognize how different worldviews shape perceptions of information value and its use.
Choose the appropriate resources, sources, or investigative methods based on intended use and need.
Evaluate and contribute to the associations, publications, resources and scholars in your discipline.
Determine the information producers and stakeholders relevant to your work and social interests.
Access & Use
Understand the range of library resources and services and personnel and how to access or connect with them.
*Recognize the ethical issues related to information access.
Recognize own rights as a member of the academic community to freedom of intellectual inquiry and privacy in accessing library collections and services.
*Recognize ethical, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information (e.g. academic freedom, right to privacy, free and fee-based information, emerging technology).
Recognize the systems of power that shape information production and access.
*Explain the economic, legal, political, and socio-economic impacts on information access and use (e.g., censorship, constraints, costs, funded research, policies, scholarship).
Gather & Generate
Translate research questions into keywords for searching, broaden and narrow search terms and modify approach(es) appropriate to the resource being searched.
Understand research as an iterative non-linear process.
Manage research with advanced search strategies (e.g., use of controlled vocabularies, Boolean operators).
Identify relevant information landscapes, and seek diverse voices.
Select discipline-specific information resources and apply increasingly sophisticated strategies appropriate to their organization and use (impact factor, cited references).
Understand the complexity of information production processes and organization.
Evaluate & Reflect
Evaluate information: assess the reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, scope, impact, and point of view.
Identify information biases of self and others.
Identify gaps in research; compare and contrast research arguments, data, studies, and methodologies.
Combine, relate, and reconcile new information with prior knowledge and beliefs to think critically, make informed decisions, and construct an original argument or position.
Synthesize and integrate information to produce research and creative scholarship for academic major requirements (e.g., literature review, advanced writing assignments, capstone project, showcase, thesis, dissertation).
Organize, Communicate & Create
Construct in-text citations and a bibliography, inclusive of multiple source types and formats (e.g. articles, images, music; print and electronic).
Recognize self as a scholar and producer of information.
Recognize that different disciplines have different citation styles and guidelines.
Articulate the difference between copyright and plagiarism.
Understand that intellectual property is a legal and social construct that varies by culture and across time
Apply ethical and legal guidelines in presentation and publication.
Utilize citation and reading organization tools and strategies.

*Asterisks indicate content that is repeated across learning stages.


  • Adaptability
  • Commitment to Diversity
  • Creativity
  • Cultural Humility
  • Curiosity
  • Discernment
  • Engagement
  • Flexibility
  • Growth Mindset
  • Mending
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Persistence
  • Positionality
  • Reciprocity
  • Relationality
  • Repair
  • Responsibility
  • Self-awareness
  • Uncertainty

Revision History

  • October 2008
  • Prepared and updated in August 2009 by Library Instruction Curriculum Task Force and Library Instruction Coordinator: Julie Edwards, Samantha Hines, Tammy Ravas, Sue Samson, and Kate Zoellner
  • Updated February 2015 by: Samantha Hines, Karen Jaskar, Sue Samson, and Megan Stark
  • Revised January 2020
  • Mended May 2023 by Reference and Instruction team