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Library Instruction

Does your class need library instruction? Check out the information in this guide to work with a librarian.

Association of College and Research Libraries Framework

The primary goal of library instruction at the Jim Dan Hill Library is that as a result of the contact, whether in the form of a one-shot instruction session or, preferably, as an embedded librarian collaborating on student learning outcomes over multiple visits, students gain information literacy skills as outlined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in their Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education. To that end, the Information Literacy Librarian and library staff at Jim Dan Hill Library offer several services to students, faculty, and staff as part of the emerging information literacy program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

One-Shot Instruction Sessions

The one-shot instruction session is by far the most frequently requested at the Jim Dan Hill Library. As the name implies, one-shot sessions require that students achieve all pre-determined student learning outcomes in one 50- or 75-minute instruction session. Because of the time constraint, these sessions tend to focus mostly on learning outcomes relating to performing functions in the library rather than interpreting and analyzing the information retrieved by a search.

Topics typically covered in one-shot sessions include:

  • Using the Library Catalog
  • Using a specific library database
  • Retrieving subject specific articles
  • Searching the Internet
  • Requesting books from other libraries using Resource Sharing
  • Using the Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) system
  • Generating keywords

Embedded Librarianship

Embedded librarianship is an effective way to address the underlying issues preventing students from becoming competent, confident researchers. As the name implies, embedded librarians become a part of the class, attending sessions or participating in online discussion boards. Embedded librarians serve to underscore the importance of inquiry in research and offer a perspective outside that of the content specialist teaching the course. Librarians can be embedded for a short time in the course to underscore the importance of a unit or for the duration of the course to collaborate on larger goals or multiple assignments.

An embedded librarian may be added to a Canvas course in the role of "Course Librarian - Research" if you would like the librarian to interact with students but not see their grades, or in role of "Teacher" if you would like the librarian to grade any research or library-related assignments. Click here to view instructions on adding a user to your Canvas course, and click here to view detailed descriptions of Canvas course-level roles.

Topics typically covered by embedded librarians include (but are not limited to):

  • What scholarly discourse should look like in a particular field
  • Evaluating both academic and popular sources
  • Treating research as inquiry
  • Recognizing that scholarship is an ongoing conversation
  • Advanced searching in databases using Boolean operators
  • Differentiating between scholarly and popular sources

Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to providing support for traditional bibliographic instruction (one-shot instruction sessions that are focused primarily on demonstrations of library databases, services, etc.), the library also offers collaborative, cross-curricular solutions to increasing student information literacy through assignment and rubric design. When co-designing assignments and rubrics with instructors, librarians will select SLOs that align directly with the six frames outlined in ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education:

Assessment

Several points of data will be collected in order to assess the effectiveness of librarian-led instruction sessions. At the end of each session, students will be asked to reflect on the content of the session, self-reporting data such as, “What was the most useful thing you learned today?”

In addition, student learning outcomes for each session based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy will be measured and recorded as appropriate by learning activity. Several other data points will be recorded as well, including the use of learning objects (library guides, tutorials, links, etc.) by students to determine the utility of the information provided by the guide.