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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 Faith Rusk at or 202-274-6116.

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. Only submit one request for multiple sections of the same course, but submit different requests for different courses.

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 Faith Rusk at or 202-274-6116.

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

Student Learning Outcomes are adpated from the AACU Value Rubric for Information Literacy.

  • Students will be able to etermine the extent of information needed
    • Effectively defines the scope of the research question or thesis. Effectively determines key concepts. Types of information (sources) selected directly related to concepts or answer research questions
  • Students will be able to access the needed information
    • Accesses information using effective, well-designed search strategies and most appropriate information sourcee
  • Students will be able to evaluate the information and its sources critically
    • Chooses a variety of information sources appropriate to the scope and discipline of the research questions. Selects sources after considering the importance (to the researched topic) of the multiple criteria used (such as relevance to the research question, currency, authority, audience, and bias or point of view).
  • Students will be able to use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
    • Communicates, organizes and synthesizes information from sources to fully achieve a specific purpose, with clarity and depth
  • Students will be able to access and use information ethically and legally
    • Students use correctly all of the following information us strategies (use of citations and references; choice of paraphrasing, summary, or quoting, using information in ways that are true to original context distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution) and demonstrate a full understanding of the ethical and legal restrictions on the use of published, confidential, and/or proprietary information

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 Faith Rusk at

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 email Faith Rusk at to discuss.

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

To discuss or schedule one of these services, please email Faith Rusk at

Sample Lesson Plans

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, email Faith Rusk at

Sample Single Session

Sample Multiple Session

Sample Flipped Classroom