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Library Instruction

Classroom Instruction Menu

A librarian can tailor a library instruction session to meet the needs of your class. 

Library Instruction Topics Minimum Time Required What will be covered?
General library information 10 minutes • Library services
• Library resources
• Tour (30-50 minutes)
Developing a search strategy 15 minutes • Picking a topic
• Narrowing/broadening a topic
• Identifying keywords
• Choosing a search tool
Evaluating sources 20 minutes • Compare popular/scholarly publications
• Examine CAARP method for evaluation
Searching in Search@UW for books and articles 15 minutes • Search books & media at UW Libraries
• Requesting items from other UW Libraries
• Search for articles
• Access electronic resources
Searching the library databases for articles 15 minutes • Search for articles in individual databases
• Finding full-text & Interlibrary Loan articles
• Database tools: email, abstract, subject terms, thesaurus, cite, save, etc.
Researching on the web 20 minutes • How to critically evaluate websites
• Google/Google Scholar searching
Using specialized library databases 15-30 minutes
*dependent on database
• ARTstor, Kanopy, Films On Demand, ebrary, CINAHL, etc.
Advanced searching techniques 15 minutes • Boolean operators, truncation, phrase searching, subject linking, etc.
Managing citations & avoiding plagiarism 30 minutes • Introduction to styles: APA, MLA, Chicago
• How to find citation information in source
• NoodleTools
Special topics 20-40 minutes
*dependent on topic
• Finding copyright-free multimedia
• Government documents
• Using primary sources/archives
• Legislative research
Research practice with a librarian 10-50+ minutes
*varies by need
• Students research while a librarian is available to answer questions

Interested in these concepts, but for an online course? Visit the Online Instruction Menu page for more information.

Types of Library Instruction

Regardless of the type of instruction you're interested in, it is best to schedule sessions at the point of need (when students start actively researching/using the library). Work with your library liaison to decide which type best fits the needs of your class or assignment.

One-Shot Sessions

Librarians hold a session for one class period a semester and typically covers general information about the library, its collections and services.

  • Example: Librarian introduces the library's website, demonstrates how to use Search@UW, and has an activity on identifying scholarly information

Drop-In Sessions

Short 10-20 minute sessions used to either introduce a service, learning object, person, or product such as a database.

  • Examples: Librarian demos a database, does an activity types of sources and their credibility, or provides an overview of a course guide

Scaffolded Sessions

Multiple library sessions in a semester spaced apart by concepts to build a deeper understanding of research and library services.

  • Example: 3 sessions scheduled across 3 days; Day 1: Developing a Topic, Day 2: Searching for & Evaluating Information, Day 3: Citing Sources.

Hybrid/Blended Sessions

Combination of in-person and online instruction in a course.

  • Example: A one-shot session is scheduled for activities and/or demonstrations and is followed up in Canvas with an Ask A Librarian discussion board