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Services: Library Instruction Overview

Library Instruction Overview

In order for our students to effectively research a topic, they must first understand how to locate authoritative information. The library offers the four specific classes listed below and will gladly design other classes for special fields of study.

Instruction sessions may include any of the following research components:

1. Using the Library Catalog :
The library catalog is web-based and available anywhere with an Internet connection.  It indexes books, videos, government documents, and more. Students learn how to form a search strategy and quickly find the information they need. Students also learn search tips such as locating specific kinds of resources, requesting holds, and compiling bibliographies.

2. Accessing & Using Databases :
Students learn how to explore the many online databases and resources available through the library's web page. Using their own lab workstation in conjunction with an online demonstration by one of our librarians, the students will find out how to effectively locate authoritative journal articles, encyclopedic information, and reliable Internet sites. They also will learn how to access the databases off campus so as to use the library’s resources from home or anywhere that has Internet capabilities.

3. Web Site Evaluation & Search Engines :
Not all Internet sites are good, much less authoritative and valuable for academic purposes. This class addresses the growing issue of evaluating web sites, including how to find the author of a site, determining whether the author is an authority on the subject, whether information is current, the differences between search engines, how they work, and how to formulate an effective search. Students also learn the difference between search engines and Internet subject directories.

4. Tours :
Sometimes all that students need is a basic tour of the library to find out where the books, periodicals, and other resources are located. We will take them on a walking tour of the library, pointing out important items and demonstrating how to use specific equipment such as microfilm machines upon request.


Designing Library Instruction for Specialized Research

We also recognize that different disciplines have particular research needs. In response to those special needs we will design library instruction according to your specifications. Our librarians can demonstrate subject specific databases that your students can use to accomplish their research assignments or instruct your students how to use special programs such as PowerPoint. Please let us know what you need and we will help your students learn how to use the most appropriate resources available for your assignments.

Designing Library Instruction for Academic Schools and Departments

We can also design instruction sessions covering any of the library resources listed above but designed for you and your academic school’s or department’s particular research and informational needs.


For information about these sessions or to schedule one for your class, use the library instruction request form on the previous page, or contact Charley Hively (367-4617) or any of the other librarians at 367-4121. Please contact us at least two weeks in advance to allow for proper scheduling and presentation design.