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Faculty Resources: Library Instruction

Library resources for academic teaching and research support.

Request Library Instruction

You can request instruction by filling out the Library Instruction Request form. If you have any questions you would like to discuss before submitting, feel free to contact us at or 202-274-5104.

Library instruction requests should be completed at least 2 weeks before the date of the first class. This will allow us enough time to work with you to develop lesson plans and outlines to best serve your individual class or assignment needs.

A librarian will contact you to confirm you instruction session within 2-3 days of your request.

Your Librarians

The UDC library is staffed by a team of professional librarians who offer reference, instruction, and technological experience. You can learn more about the team on the LRD profile page.

For a complete list of LRD staff, please visit the staff directory.


How do I request library instruction?

You can request instruction by filling out the Library Instruction Request form. If you have any questions you would like to discuss before submitting, feel free to contact us at or 202-274-5104.

What does a standard library instruction session look like?

There is no standard library instruction session – we tailor all of our instruction to your course, and your students’ needs. We always try to include:

  • Instruction on library website and subject specific resources
  • Active learning activities for your choice of information literacy issues
  • Class time for hands on work and questions

However, this might vary based on the instructional format you chose and the nature of your course. We have a few sample lesson plans (above) to help you get an idea of different options for different instruction methods. Please remember that these are only samples, nor templates, and that instruction is flexible and designed to meet your specific needs.

How many student learning outcomes (SLO) can be addressed in each session?

It varies. There are multiple activities we can use to cover different  issue and they vary in length of time.

But, to provide some guidance, for an 80 minute class that includes database demonstrations, three or more SLO would involve a superficial discussion, and would feel rushed. Limiting to two for an 80 minutes session is probably more useful to students, One SLO per session allows for a thorough, in depth coverage, with multiple activities.

My class is at the community college. Can I still request instruction?

Yes! Space is sometimes hard to come by at the Community College, so the earlier you request the better and flexible dates are helpful, but we can absolutely provide instruction for your course. If space at 801 cannot be reserved, we can host your class on the Van Ness campus, or design all-online instruction.

What do you mean, “A library guide can be requested for the course”?

While we already have general subject guides, sometimes it is useful to have a guide for a specific course. It allows once place for students to go to find everything covered in library instruction. This includes databases determined to be useful for their research, as well as worksheets or materials from activities covered in class.

Library Instruction

The Learning Resources Division provides information literacy instruction, to support students in their academic careers, and as lifelong learners. The program seeks to develop students’ competence to access, evaluate, and effectively use electronic and print resources to acquire information.


The goal of the Information Literacy Instruction Program is to support students and faculty in information literacy education. Information literacy is the defined as the ability "to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." [1] LRD instruction ranges from basic to advanced, and is intended to be built upon throughout a student’s academic career.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. The Library Exists: Students will be able to identify the library as a resource to support their academic work
  2. Needs & Tools: Students will be able to identify a specific research or information need and the appropriate research tool to address that need
  3. Resources & Strategies: Students will be able to identify and apply strategies to find resources appropriate to their research need, including, but not limited to, identifying keywords and synonyms for searching, and search techniques, such as using Boolean operators, quotation marks, truncation and wildcard symbols, and citation chaining.
  4. Research is a process: Students will be able to describe that research is a non-linear, non-sequential and strategic process, and will be able to participate in iterative research steps.
  5. Citations: Students will be able to ethically use and incorporate sources, including appropriately summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting and citing resources.
  6. Evaluating: Students will apply critical analysis skills to evaluate information sources. Students will be able to identify different source types and determine if a source is appropriate to their needs

Teaching Methodologies

Instruction is designed to be hands on. Students will participate in active learning activities and work in groups to gain knowledge and develop strategies. Students will have access to all learning materials after the instruction session.

[1] Association of College and Research Libraries. (1989). Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report. Retrieved from

Instruction Options

The Learning Resources Division (LRD) is committed to supporting student learning. We recognize that each course is different, so we offer different models for instruction from which you can choose based on your class structure, assignments, and needs. Each model includes a demonstration of the library website and UDC resources, as well as active learning activities on your choice of information literacy issues (described below). A library guide can also be requested for the course.

Research shows that library instruction is most effective when paired with an assignment. Please keep your assignments in mind when considering your choice of model, your chosen information literacy activities, and the timing of the session. If you would like assistance in creating assignments that incorporate information literacy skills, please contact us at or 202-274-5104.

Instructional Format Options:

1. In-Person Instruction (single or multiple sessions)

  • A librarian visits your class for one or multiple sessions, depending on how many information literacy issues you would like to cover. How many issues we can cover in a session depends on the length of the class and the depth in which it is covered.

2. Flipped Classroom (single or multiple sessions)

  • A flipped classroom shares video tutorials and/or readings in advance of class, freeing up class time for active learning instead of lecturing. In providing students with guided instruction in advance, this format allows students to come to class with basic information on the topic, and the full class session can be devoted to active learning for your choice of information literacy issues as well as class time for hands on work and questions. 

3. Entirely Online/Homework

  • If you are teaching an online course, some your students might not be able to come to campus for an in-person or flipped instruction session. We can design entirely online instruction to meet your needs. Online tutorials can be paired with quizzes or assignments to assess student learning, which will include short answer/discussion questions to address your choice of information literacy issues (see options to the right). If students do not score highly enough on the quiz/assignment, they will be required to meet (in person or via phone) with a librarian, who can provide additional one-on-one instruction for the student. Meeting with a librarian will be available to all students who are interested.

4. Embedded Librarian

  • An embedded librarian works closely with the course to provide ongoing information literacy instruction. These courses are often designed around scaffolded research assignments, but it is not a requirement. The librarian participates in assignment design so that assignments effectively use and assess information literacy skills. Portions of multiple classes will be designated for information literacy activities that support assignments. This option is ideally arranged in advance of the start of the semester. 

If there is an instruction model you do not see here, but would like to have offered, please contact us at or 202-274-5104.

Online Instruction Options

You can schedule a library instruction session for your students in your remote class. 

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND the flipped-classroom model for remote library instruction. In this model, the library will provide an asynchronous, pre-recorded lecture (with supporting slides and script) for you to have your students' view before a synchronous session. The synchronous session will include Q&A, troubleshooting, and limited demonstrations and activities. We find that this model accommodates most students and avoids issues such as connectivity, accessibility, and disruption.

Here are some options for you and your students that we are also prepared to offer:

  • Synchronous online instruction at a regularly scheduled class time
  • Synchronous online instruction at a different class time
  • Asynchronous online instruction via recorded lecture with slides
  • Asynchronous online instruction via a self-paced tutorial (which can include quizzes and questions)
  • Electronic handouts/worksheets (such as PowerPoints, worksheets, etc.)

Information Literacy Issues Description

Topics and Research Questions

Students often struggle to come up with a topic or to narrow down a broad topic into a research question. A bad research question can make the rest of the research process feel inaccessible. We want students to start their research with a strong foundation.

Research as a Conversation/The Research Process

This issue introduces students to the idea that the research they are doing is part of a larger scholarly conversation. Why is this important? It can change the way they think about their sources, how they use them, and how they find them. It also addresses the research process as a whole and the fact that there is no one right way to approach it (or one wrong way) and that research is a fluid and iterative process. 

Search Strategies

Most students are used to searching with Google, and while each database the library subscribes to is a little different, none of them operate like Google. This issue helps students understand different strategies for finding the information they need in this different environment.

Evaluating Sources

Finding sources is important, but it is essential that students know how to evaluate the sources they find. Is it a scholarly source? Is it a primary source? Is it reliable information? Is it relevant to my topic? This issue covers all these questions and more, and teaches students to think critically about the information they find.

Citations and Plagiarism

Citations are an essential part of scholarly work. This issue covers both the nitty gritty side of citations, such as identifying the type of citation and finding errors, as well as the more abstract ideas about why we cite, and why it matters. 

Subject Specific Issues

Different subjects have different needs. For example, in nursing, when evaluating sources, one must consider levels of evidence, in counseling one must consider the ACA Code of Ethics. We want to make sure that what students learn in the classrooms matches what is discussed in library instruction. If you have any Subject Specific Issues you'd like to make sure are addressed, we can accommodate.

Other Instruction Services

Curricular Support
  • Librarians are happy to consult on integrating information literacy into your syllabus

Individual Sessions for Students and Faculty

  • Assistance with research is always available to you. Students and faculty can stop by the Reference desk, or make a one-on-one appointment with any of our librarians. 
Professional Development Opportunities to Faculty
  • Professional Development Presentations
  • Brown-bag Lunch Presentations
  • Other Presentations, as requested


Sample Lesson Plans

Below you will find several different sample lesson plans. These are not prescriptions, and won't be directly applied to any one course, but rather examples of some of the different ways instruction can be structured and approached. If you have questions about any of the sample lesson plans, or something you'd like covered in library instruction, contact us at or 202-274-5104.

Sample Single Session

Sample Multiple Session

Sample Flipped Classroom