Making the Most of a Library Instruction Class

To ensure a more successful information literacy class for you and your students, please consider the following tips:

Time & location.

  • The library classroom is in CL237 - information literacy sessions will be held in the library classsroom OR you may request that information literacy classes be held in your regular classroom.
  • Leave a reminder note in your regular classroom - students may forget about where they are to meet.
  • Being on time is important - late students may find it difficult to catch-up on the step-by-step instruction presented.

Assignment/project criteria.

  • Timing is everything - coordinate the timing of the library session with the timing of the assignment/project.
  • Resources in a variety of formats - library databases, web sites, books, etc.
  • Citing conventions (APA, MLA, CMS) - students often need guidance as to when and how to use a particular citation style.

Student preparation.

  • Topic selection - provide students with clear, designated topics; if you prefer, use the library visit as a time to explore possible topics with the assistance of the library instructor.
  • Introduce the assignment/project beforehand - students will have an idea of what is expected of them.
  • Library research databases vs. "the Internet" - familiarize students with the differences in these resources.
  • Scholarly peer-reviewed sources; primary vs. secondary sources - introduce these concepts to your students before the library session.

Prepare the library instructor/library.

  • Request sessions at least one week in advance - allow our staff time to prepare the session.
  • Provide a copy of the assignment or project - discuss it ahead of time with the library instructor.
  • Share students' research topics - if known, provide students' chosen topics.
  • Place items on Reserve - limit to in-library use those same items that many students in your class will need to use.

Active participation.

  • Join in the session - students will pick up on points that you help highlight.
  • Redirect the session - if the session strays from your students' needs, let the librarian know.


  • Review the library session - at your next class session, clarify what was covered.
  • Schedule a brief follow-up - a library instructor may be able to revisit your class for a brief follow-up.