Library Instruction

What Is Library Research Instruction?

Many faculty bring their classes to the library for a research instruction session taught by a librarian. Students learn not only about how a college library works and about Coulter Library’s resources and research assistance, but they can also receive instruction regarding evaluation of Internet information, scholarly and peer-reviewed resources, and other valuable information literacy skills.


Information literacy “goes well beyond search techniques … Because our web experience will increasingly be personalized through algorithms that key off of everything from geolocation to our prior digital traces, students must learn to recognize the limits of their online environment and to seek information creatively outside of channels that serve up results skewed by Internet companies and other paternalistic, biased, or profit-driven gatekeepers.” Alison J. Head, Director of Project Information Literacy Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Research Instruction Session

Research instruction sessions are extremely flexible, and can be tailored to whatever faculty would like to cover. In a library instruction class, students are shown how to begin their research assignments, and where their best sources would be found for a particular assignment. If there is time, students can often begin their research right then and there, when both the librarian and their professor are present to help them. This means students leave the library instruction class with their research already under way, as well as a research strategy to get them through the assignment.

Complete our instruction session scheduling form to schedule an instruction session. 

Library Visit

Some professors a library visit (no research instruction). They bring their own classes into the library and work with them without a librarian present. You are always welcome to do this, but please let us know in advance so we can tell you if other classes or events are scheduled for the same time period. 

Complete our library visit scheduling form to schedule a library visit. 

In addition, students often need a quiet place to study on their own, or just to hang out for a while. Coulter Library offers students a calm oasis for individual study, reading, and reflection. There is an area designated for quiet study, a "Popular Reading" section, and other areas with popular magazines, movies, and music available.

Going Further

Toward the goal of giving students a fuller understanding of academic research, we can help you embed information literacy components into your assignments. This not only results in higher quality student work, but also gives students lifelong skills in choosing and evaluating information resources.

For more information, contact Angela Weiler.