How to Use Faculty Library Resources: Library Instruction

Library Instruction

The staff of Otto F. Linn Library offer instruction services, including:

  • How to use the library catalog
  • Finding periodical articles in print or electronic indexes
  • Navigating databases
  • Evaluating sources
  • Citing sources
  • Hands-on session in the computer lab
  • Advanced catalog searching
  • Instruction in use of major print resources

Full and part-time faculty members may request librarians to provide instruction under the
following policies:

  • Requests for instruction should be made at least two weeks in advance of the session.
  • Instruction is on a "first-scheduled, first-served basis." Please schedule early to ensure the time slot that best fits your student's needs.
  • The topics of the instruction should be within the expertise of the librarians.
  • Faculty members should attend the complete session with their students. Interaction enriches the learning process, and stresses the importance of library instruction to students.
  • Faculty are strongly encouraged to link the instruction to a specific assignment, and to time the instruction so that it coincides with a due date.
  • Use of classrooms, labs and other electronic resources for the instruction session will be arranged by the librarian.

What you should do to make library instruction successful:

  • Link the instruction to an assignment. (Please do not create a "scavenger hunt," but an assignment that helps students practice information skills for a lifetime.)
  • Time the instruction when the information will be used immediately by students, not a month before they begin the assignment.
  • Attend the instruction session - you will know what information is being provided to students and can give feedback regarding the instruction and any gaps or improvements needed.

Characteristics of a good library assignment:

  • A goal or purpose: Tell students what they are expected to learn and why. Make sure you know what you want students to accomplish with the assignment. Don't expect too much of novice researchers - start small and build.
  • Doesn't assume that first year students fully understand the research process
  • Encourages critical approach: Don't just send students to find information, ask them to evaluate or analyze it.
  • Relevant to the course content: Allow students to delve more deeply into the course content. Unintegrated assignments are perceived as "busywork."
  • Repetition: Good assignments allow students to practice new skills.
  • Tested: Try out your own assignment. This will help you see if there are obstacles or difficulties that may frustrate students.

Questions? Ask the Electronic Resources & Instruction Librarian

Ann Matsushima Chiu's picture
Ann Matsushima Chiu
Otto F Linn Library
2219 SE 68th Ave, Portland, OR 97215
(503) 517-1118