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Library Instruction & Information Literacy: Integrative Model

Information Literacy at Castleton

About the Integrative Model

A traditional and common approach to librarian-led information literacy instruction has been:

  • One-shot: Single meeting, often in the library
  • Course-specific: Tailored to the specifics of that course
  • Just-in-time: Before a research assignment is due and at the point of needing sources

This approach may help students with research in a particular course, but it is unlikely to promote an integrative understanding of information literacy concepts.  It also separates information sources from the research and creative process, emphasizing information value around format and “findability” rather than promoting inquiry and conversation.

Since Fall 2017, the Calvin Coolidge Library has been piloting Spartan Savvy, an Integrative Model for our Information Literacy Instruction Program.  Spartan Savvy offers faculty-requested, librarian-led instruction on 13 module topics4 scaffolded instruction sessions, a variety of activities, and resource-specific instruction on one or more research tools.  We continue to offer instruction sessions based on faculty assignments, but we encourage you to request instruction on our new topics!

Integrative Model for Castleton

Castleton's librarians have taken the 6 threshold concepts of the ACRL's 2016 Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and broken them into 13 information literacy topics, defining each topic with inquiries and mapping those topics to the Framework concepts. By mapping the six Framework Concepts into 13 information literacy topics, and further organizing those 13 topics into 4 sessions, our current one-shot, just-in-time, section-specific instruction would be replaced with:

Integrative Instruction

Information Literacy Topic Instruction and Support

Individualized & Discipline-specific Support

Faculty-requested & librarian-led instruction sessions scaffolded across the undergraduate experience, targeting:

  • FYS
  • English Comp.
  • 3rd Year Course
  • Capstone Course
  1. Faculty-requested & librarian-led instruction on one or more of the 13 information literacy topics
  2. Faculty use of librarian-developed activities covering one or more of the 13 information literacy topics (see our growing suite of activities at
  1. Librarian-led resource specific instruction on one or more research tools
  2. Librarian-supported individualized research or research tool support for a class or small group
  3. Student-requested research appointments with a librarian

An integrated and incremental model for information literacy instruction could be scaffolded across the undergraduate experience as follows:

Integrative Model for Instruction


Instruction Topic

Instruction Goals

Information Literacy Topics

Framework Concepts


Information Value and Landscape

Introduction to the information creation process and to the value of information and its place in scholarship. 

Information Creation

Information Creation as a Process; Information Has Value; Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

Value of Information

Information & Scholarship 

English Composition

Integrating and Using Sources

Introduction to the concept of authority.  Discuss strategies for determining source credibility, and for ethically integrating sources into original works. 


Information Creation as a Process; Authority Is Constructed and Contextual; Scholarship as Conversation

Source Credibility

Integrating Sources

Ethical use of Sources

Third-Year Common Course or Research Intensive Course

Research Process

Introduction to research as a process of inquiry and strategic exploration.  Discuss strategies for locating a variety of sources.

Research as Inquiry

Scholarship as Conversation; Research as Inquiry; Searching as Strategic Exploration

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Types of Sources

Locating Sources

Capstone Course

Information for Profession and Scholarship

Introduction to the concept of scholarship as conversation.  Discuss strategies for locating and using sources in the discipline and profession.

Scholarship as conversation

Information Creation as a Process; Scholarship as Conversation; Searching as Strategic Exploration

Locating sources in the discipline and profession