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Library Instruction: About

To schedule library instruction:

  1. Contact Research & Instruction Librarian Caroline Buff.
  2. Provide the following information:
  • Your learning outcomes for the session.  What would you like your students to be able to do?
  • A copy or description of the research assignment students will be working on
  • The course name and number
  • The number of students currently enrolled
  • Proposed dates/times for the session

Students learn research skills best by doing research, so librarians incorporate active learning into library instruction whenever possible. 

Sample Learning Outcomes for:

Choose from among these learning outcomes or suggest your own.
  • Use the library catalog to find a book on their topic
  • Use the call number to locate a book on the shelf
  • Find and ebook on their topic
  • Create a citation in APA/Chicago/MLA style
  • Get a citation from a library database
  • Describe what a library database is
  • Choose an appropriate database for their topic
  • Apply strategies for searching databases
  • Evaluate and select sources that are suited to their research topic
  • Use Google Scholar to locate an article on their topic
  • Describe what peer review is
  • Describe the differences between peer-reviewed and popular sources
  • Locate a peer-reviewed journal article
  • Describe what plagiarism is
  • Describe ways to avoid plagiarism
  • Use the appropriate citation style to create a citation
  • Use the appropriate citation style to create an in-text citation
  • List the different times when in-text citations are needed
  • Access a research guides on their topic
  • Identify best practices in starting a research assignment
  • Identifying keywords
  • Describe what library research assistance is available
  • Describe the difference between trade and consumer publications
  • Find trade publications in library databases

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
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!

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.