Our librarians are committed to ensuring that faculty, staff, and students receive the instruction they need to effectively access, evaluate and utilize information using library resources and services. We invite course instructors to work closely with a librarian to ensure the session is tailored to the students’ needs and covers subject specific research tools.
Instructors can request librarian-led instruction sessions for their classes and student groups using the online form. Once the form is received, you will receive an email from a librarian confirming the library instruction date/time.
Why should I schedule a library instruction session for my class?
Knowing how to access, evaluate and utilize information efficiently and effectively is an increasingly important skill in today's world. Information literacy instruction is about introducing students to these skills and making sure they are incorporated not only into their class work, but in their lives as well.
What do I need to do to prepare my class for instruction?
Does my class have to meet in the library for instruction?
No. We can schedule your session online, in the library's computer lab, or your classroom as needed.
Do I need to be present during the instruction?
Instructors are strongly encouraged to attend instructional sessions because their presence and participation helps convey the importance of the session.
When faculty want students to learn research skills, they may create assignments that are not as effective as they expected. Assignments similar to the ones below can cause more frustration than learning. Students often do not know as much about research, even online research, as faculty imagine.
1. The mob scene
A large class looking for one piece of information or researching one topic.
WHY? Resources will disappear quickly- either they will be taken off the shelf or checked out. Both scenarios prevent other students from completing the assignment and they will form the incorrect impression that they will never be able to find information in the Libraries.
2. The shot in the dark
Students working from incomplete, outdated or incorrect resource lists; assigned materials are not owned by the Libraries; vague topics are assigned or approved.
WHY? Students will get frustrated and again assume incorrectly the Libraries do not have the information they need.
3. The needle in the haystack
Students are sent to the Libraries to find obscure facts.
WHY? A library scavenger hunt or treasure hunt, unless focused on the research process and the use of the information found, is usually an exercise in futility- and students will realize this quickly.
4. Browsing for serendipity in the haystack
Students are told to find any book or print journal article on a broad topic in order to encourage them to explore the stacks.
WHY? Students may not understand the organization of library information well enough and likely will not have the interest and patience to truly browse the shelves for a serendipitous find. They will simply grab anything and may not have any interest in what they grabbed.
Credit: Virginia Tech University Libraries