Instruction Services

Teaching students about research, how to evaluate sources, and other essential research skills (known as information literacy) is core to a librarian's role. In collaboration with faculty, a librarian designs information literacy instruction sessions based on the needs of the students and the expectations of the course.

A librarian can come to your class once or be embedded into your course to provide scaffolded or asynchronous instruction.

Library Instruction Checklist

  1. Contact your liaison librarian to schedule a session. Librarians recommend at least 2 weeks in advance to allow time to prepare for the session. 
  2. If this is the first time inviting a librarian in, we strongly recommend meeting with them to go over your course, class expectations, and assignments.
  3. Provide a copy of the research assignment and your syllabus to your librarian. This allows the librarian to identify the best library resources and databases for your class. Share a list of resources you would like included in the session.
  4. Attend the session with your students. Your attendance emphasizes the importance of the session and allows students to ask you questions. 
  5. Meet with the librarian after the session to go over what went well, what could be improved for next time, and discuss any possible supplemental instruction needed. 

About Instruction Services

Librarians customize sessions around your assignments. For optimal student impact, consider having your librarian visit your classes for shorter periods several times during the semester.

Library instruction sessions follow the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education pedagogy. The ACRL Framework is built on the key threshold concepts (called Frames) of information literacy. The Frames are included below, along with research concepts that are frequently covered by a librarian in an instruction session.

"Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required" .

Librarians teach this through exploring how to evaluate sources, how to understand authorial expertise, and discussions of information and educational privilege.

"Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination."

Librarians teach this through explaining the peer-review process, the importance of citations, and how to read and create citations.

"Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations."

Librarians teach this through conversations about citations, the information cycle, and how to enter a scholarly conversation through research and writing.

"Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops."


Librarians teach this by explaining how to identify an information need and how to choose the best resources to match the information need, how to search in databases and other information systems, and how to develop and refine search strategies.

"Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field."

Librarians teach this through the examination of different information systems used in research, how to develop and refine a research topic or question, and how to organize research and identify gaps in the literature and in one's own research.

"Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences."


Librarians teach this through discussions on the information cycle, the differences between static and dynamic information, and how information evolves through different representations and mediums.

Library Course Guides

A Course Guide is an online resource specifically designed for a single course. Your library liaison can integrate any resources and information needed for your course and/or a specific assignment in your course into the guide. See examples of our guides and contact your library liaison to discuss ideas.

Contact the Library

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Research Help
175 W. Mark St.
Winona, MN 55987