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Teaching and Learning Services

Santa Clara University Library's Instruction Program

In support of the teaching mission of the University, the University Library’s Instruction Program offers a variety of services to support faculty in their teaching and to inspire SCU students to develop comprehensive information literacy and critical thinking skills that contribute to their successes as students and as lifelong learners.

SCU librarians and staff can provide course-integrated library instruction both through in-person instruction and/or through the creation of online instructional materials, such as guides and tutorials. We also provide faculty workshops related to various aspects of information literacy and assignment design.

To get started contact your subject librarian or one of the administrators of the program:

Nicole Branch
Associate University Librarian for Learning and Engagement

Kelci Baughman McDowell
Instruction Coordinator for CTW; Undergraduate Learning Librarian

How We Partner with Faculty to Provide Quality Instruction

Information literacy instruction is most effective when it is fully integrated into the learning goals of your class. Here are some of the ways that librarians can work with you to provide information literacy instruction and learning resources to students.

  • We can help you design an effective research assignment that introduces your students to the most useful, logistically feasible resources.
  • We help you determine the most appropriate types and combinations of library instruction, such as, a full class session, part of a class session, online research guides, print handouts, online tutorials, etc.
  • We work with you to schedule library sessions to coincide with the time in the quarter when your students are actively working on their research assignments and are most motivated to learn.
  • We usually provide instruction in one of our computer lab classrooms, but we can and will come to your classroom.
  • We can integrate hands-on learning techniques, including in-class exercises and database searching, using our computer-equipped classroom.
  • We know the information resources, but you know your students. We request your presence and involvement in the planning and teaching of a library session to ensure that your students will be actively engaged.
  • We stay in touch with your students to provide follow-up assistance after library sessions through email and individual consultations.

Best Practices for an Effective Library Instruction Experience

The following best practices for faculty and instructors to follow can help us create an engaging learning atmosphere and conduct relevant library instruction:

  • Provide students with their assignment before the library instruction session. Library sessions are most effective after students have been fully oriented to the assignment and when they have an immediate and concrete need for the information literacy skills we teach. Course-integrated library instruction is most effective when students have a project to complete for a grade
  • Provide librarians with a copy of the assignment, syllabus, and students' paper topics (if applicable) in advance of the library session so that they can be used to tailor the instruction session to your course and students
  • If possible, meet with your librarian before the course to discuss the class characteristics and your goals for the instruction session
  • When using stand-alone online materials without an in-class workshop, assigning a grade or participation points will greatly increase the likelihood that students will complete the assignment.  Librarians are often able to provide you with a copy of student responses.
  • Provide students with instructions about the types of resources needed to complete assignment. For example: books, popular articles and/or peer-reviewed articles, newspaper articles, etc.
  • Provide your presence at library sessions so that you are aware of the sources we've shown and the issues we've discussed and will also be able to answer questions about the assignment. Your presence also indicates to students that the library session is an integral part of the course and demonstrates the importance of faculty-librarian collegiality to you students.