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Library Instruction: About

Why schedule a class visit?

Teaching research skills, on top of your regular curriculum, can be a challenge.  Librarians can make your life easier.  We are experienced in teaching college students how to do research - - we do it all the time in the library. 

We believe that students learn best by doing, so we incorporate active learning into our lesson plans whenever possible.  You choose the learning outcomes for the session, and we devise the lesson around those outcomes.  Want your students to be able to find a book?  We can create a lesson plan for that!  Want them to find peer reviewed journals articles?  We can teach them that, too!

Listed below are some ideas to get you started.  We will be happy to work with you to create a custom lesson plan to address the research needs of your students.

Sample Learning Outcomes for Library Instruction

  • Finding books in Begley Library
  • Finding ebooks
  • Creating a citation in APA/Chicago/MLA style
  • Getting citations from library databases
  • What is a library database?
  • Choosing appropriate databases to search
  • Strategies for database searching
  • Evaluating sources
  • Using Google Scholar for research
  • What is peer review?
  • What are the differences between peer-reviewed and popular sources?
  • Locating peer-reviewed journal articles in library databases
  • What is plagiarism?
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Accessing research guides
  • Best practices in starting a research assignment
  • Identifying keywords
  • What library research assistance is available?
  • Describing the difference between trade and consumer publications
  • Finding trade publications in library databases

5 Tips for Successful Library Instruction

1.  Schedule early. 

Please schedule at least two weeks in advance so librarians have time to prepare.

2.  Please share! 

Provide librarians with a copy of your research assignment when you schedule the session.

3.  Give your students a heads-up. 

Distribute your research assignment ahead of time.  This lets students ask questions and get a better grasp of the assignment ahead of time, so the meeting with the librarian can be focused on research.

4.  Attend with your students. 

Ask questions during the instruction session.  Reinforce material from the session in subsequent classes.

5.  Follow up. 

Please fill out our follow-up survey after the instruction session.  Your responses will help us improve for next time.

Other Instructional Services

Ask Us 24/7 is the library's online research service that connects students with online help from college librarians 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It can also be used to conduct online office hours for students who want to make an appointment for individual research help. Contact Caroline Buff to learn more.
Research guides are an excellent starting point for students working on a research assignment. They can include recommended databases, books, ebooks, and other sources; as well as research strategies and tutorials.

Librarians have created research guides that address many subject areas and topics. We can create a custom research guide for you. Research guides are easily embedded or linked to from Blackboard. Contact Caroline Buff to learn more.
If you think your students would benefit from library instruction, but an in-class visit isn’t feasible, consider using an online tutorial. Librarians can create custom online tutorials and assessments that can be stand-alone or embedded in your Blackboard class. Contact Caroline Buff to learn more.
Want to know if your research assignment will work with current library resources? Librarians can provide feedback on the compatibility of research assignments with existing library resources. Contact Caroline Buff to learn more.

Contact for Instruction


Caroline Buff, Librarian


Caroline Buff
Research and Instruction Librarian
Begley 116


I coordinate library instruction sessions.  If you'd like to schedule a class visit, I'm the one to contact!