Ohio University

Library Instruction

Information Literacy and Library Instruction

  • In order to be successful, OUL students should be able to conduct effective research by learning how to identify, access, retrieve, and evaluate appropriate information for their needs.
  • To help our students succeed in their research, the Hannah V. McCauley Library librarians are available for library instruction sessions tailored to specific courses, assignments, or curricular themes.

Librarians can provide

  • Single or multiple sessions, ranging from 20 minutes to two hours
  • "Embedded librarian" support in a course for a limited time or the duration of the semester through Blackboard
  • Customized research guides for your class. When posted on Blackboard, the guides offer an easy way to ensure students have the resources and research techniques they need.
  • Consultations on research assignments, including feedback on information literacy objectives and the availability of appropriate resources

Learning Objectives

Include helping students to:

  • Analyze a topic and identify the key concepts
  • Formulate a successful search strategy
  • Select and use appropriate research tools for their particular assignment or discipline
  • Critically evaluate sources for relevancy, authority, accuracy, objectivity, content and currency
  • Understand the legal and ethical implications of information use

Ingredients for a successful library experience

Schedule your session

  • For the beginning of a research assignment
  • For an adequate time to allow hands-on exercises, group work, reflection, etc.

Prepare your students

  • By reviewing the assignment before the session
  • By explaining your goals for the session
  • By asking your students to come to the session prepared with questions and/or their topics


  • Share your syllabus with the librarian before the session to allow for customized content in the session.
  • Share the specific research assignment with the librarian before the session to allow time for questions or comments.
  • Provide details about the assignment, such as required resources (e.g., must include an article from a peer-reviewed journal, etc.), taboo or limited topics, or popular/common topics.

Participate in the session

  • Faculty participation helps students understand the importance of the session and the importance of a librarian as an integral part of the course.
  • Students are more attentive and receptive to library instruction with a professor present.
  • Professors will be aware of the resources students have available for their research.
  • Professors will be able to answer student questions about the assignment during the session.
  • Instructors are required to attend the session or to arrange for a faculty substitute.
  • We know the information sources, but you know your students; your participation helps everyone.

Scheduling a Session

To ensure your students get the instruction they need, when they need it, please contact us as far in advance as possible. Use this form or contact Judy Carey Nevin to discuss your options: careynev@ohio.edu or 740-681-3351.

For more information about information literacy, please visit the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) information literacy site.