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Library Instruction

This guide explains what library instruction is, how it can be custom-tailored for your class, how to schedule instruction and general FAQ's about library instruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does my class meet for library instruction?
There are two classrooms dedicated to library instruction at the Elsner Library. Both classrooms have computers for hands-on utilization of library resources during library instruction. Although there is not a dedicated classroom for instruction at the Red Mountain library, computer pods or iPads are utilized for instruction within the library. Although we prefer to have your class come to the library, there may be special situations when we can come to your classroom to provide instruction.

Do I need to be present during the instruction?
Yes, your attendance is required. If library instruction is scheduled on a day when you are unable to attend, you will still need to arrange for a substitute. Your presence and participation helps convey the importance of the session to the students. Because technology and resources are constantly changing, it is beneficial to both the students and instructor.

What is covered in library instruction?
You can specify what you would like covered in your library instruction based on an assignment or the general research needs of your students. The librarian scheduled to teach your instruction can work with you to customize your library instruction session. Here is a sampling of what we cover in library instruction**:

  • General information about the library and the services we offer
  • Identifying types of materials in the library catalog (print books, ebooks, streaming videos, etc.)
  • How to search the library catalog and locate material in the library and online
  • Distinguishing between popular (magazines) and scholarly (peer-reviewed) resources
  • How to locate journal, magazine and newspaper articles using our electronic resources/databases
  • Strategies for effective database searching including brainstorming for keywords, identifying subject terms and using Boolean Operators
  • Evaluating sources for authority and reliability
  • Creating citations and avoiding plagiarism
**Please note: It is not possible to cover all the information listed above in one class session. Consider scheduling 2-3 instruction sessions throughout the semester so you and your students can get the most out of library instruction.