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Faculty Resources: Library Instruction

Library Instruction

The JCC Library staff welcome the opportunity to partner with our faculty in providing specialized library-related instruction.  Our classes are developed with four goals in mind.

To help students:

1)     Become critical thinkers

2)     Develop more efficient information-seeking and retrieval habits

3)     Evaluate information effectively

4)     Acquire the skills necessary to become life-long learners

Regardless of course level, students will always benefit from a library instruction.For example, what we teach in a library instruction for an ENG 101 is very different from what we teach in a Business, Chemistry or History course.

If your course has a research component of any kind, we highly recommend that you contact us about scheduling a library instruction. Our librarians are more than happy to work with faculty to tailor the instruction to meet the specific needs of the class.

Formats to consider:

1) Basic one-shot - a 40 to 50 minute session providing an overview of some of the more critical resources and research skills. Appropriate for upper level courses where students have likely already had a library instruction in ENG 101, the research component is discipline specific (history, nursing, psychology, etc) or when faculty just feel pressed for time.

2) Two sessions - recommended especially in lower level courses such as ENG 101 where students have very little experience with conducting research for academic purposes and tend to be very unfamiliar with library resources in general.

In order to ensure the best library instruction session for your students, we require the following:

  • Sessions must be requested at least two weeks in advance.
  • Course instructors must attend and remain with students for the whole session.
  • Free research time in the library can be scheduled as long as the class has received library instruction.

We also recommend the following:

  • Library instruction is most effective when situated around a research assignment. Be sure to include a copy of or a description of the research assignment your students will be working on when submitting your request.  
  • Introduce students to the research assignment prior to the scheduled library instruction. This will make what they learn in the session more applicable.
  • Work with the librarian directly prior to the library instruction. The more we understand your learning goals the more effective the session will be for the students. 

Schedule Library Instruction

To schedule a library instruction session fill out the library instruction request form or contact Carleen Huxley at, ext. 2402



Below is a menu of content that can be included in a library instruction class.

Basic One-shot Instruction

  • Introduction to the library
  • Developing a research strategy (developing a topic, finding background information, identifying keywords)
  • How to use our online catalog (CannonCat) to find print books, ebooks and media items in the library
  • Introduction to database searching (difference between general and subject database, simple keyword search, using database filters)
  • Evaluating information effectively for authority and credibility
  • Plagiarism and the importance of citing sources

Extended Menu

Contact a librarian about how to incorporate these extras into your library instruction.  Some will require scheduling an additional class, others will simply require refocusing of a one-shot. 

  • Advanced database searching (more time spent on database tools and advanced search techniques)
  • Discipline specific research (focus on discipline/specialized subject databases)
  • Finding peer-reviewed scholarly articles
  • Finding credible information on the world wide web (includes search techniques and evaluating websites)
  • News literacy (authenticating a news story, identifying bias)
  • Requesting articles via interlibrary loan
  • Archives and primary resources
  • Special topics (social media for business, job search, prezi)