At PLU, library instruction is designed as a collaborative process between librarians and teaching faculty that creates meaningful learning experiences, aligns with learning outcomes and course goals, and is connected to coursework or a specific assignment in order to enhance student learning.

Requesting Library Instruction

Even if face-to-face instruction is not possible at this moment, library faculty can still support your student’s research needs through online instruction. Depending on the needs of your class, as well as the learning goals of your course, library faculty may be available to teach asynchronously or synchronously.

Over the summer, we worked to put together a guide that can help faculty introduce information literacy (IL) into their courses. This guide contains a number of suggested small changes, activities, and research paper alternatives that we hope can help you incorporate IL habits of mind into your courses.

To begin the planning process, please write to Roberto Arteaga (rarteaga@plu.edu) and provide the following details:

  • Course information
  • What would you like your students to get out of the session? Describe anything that you want your students to be able to do, practice, and/or understand as a result of having had a library instruction session.
  • A copy of the most recent version of your syllabus or research assignment (drafts will work too). Instruction is customized to an assignment or a unit in your course, so we ask that you share details of the assignment or your course with us as part of your request.
  • When would you like the information literacy instruction to occur? Online instructional materials, just like in-person class sessions, will take time to plan and create. Schedule your library instruction with at least two weeks advance notice so that we can accommodate your request.

The Archives and Special Collections also offers instructional support for courses exploring primary source research or topics in university and local history. For more information, see the Archives and Special Collections Teaching and Learning Services page or contact Anna Trammell (trammell@plu.edu).

What is library instruction?

Library instruction focuses on empowering students to develop not just skills, but habits of mind, such as critical inquiry, that will transfer across courses and different contexts. Librarians employ a variety of pedagogical practices in the classroom, such as student-centered teaching and active learning while creating inclusive and engaging learning opportunities for PLU students. Librarians encourage critical engagement in a workshop setting, where students draw from their lived experiences, apply previous knowledge to explore their own research interests both in and beyond the classroom, and think critically about a complex process.

How can library instruction enhance student learning?

The research process is often “messy” by nature, which means that library instruction will look different from one classroom to the next. Depending on the goals of each course, one class might focus on evaluating sources, another might explore scholarship as a conversation, and another might use archival materials to make connections between the past and the present. Although teaching the entire research process may not be possible in a single session, through careful planning, library instruction can still meet the immediate needs of students while helping students develop habits and strategies that contribute to lifelong learning practices.

How can I collaborate with PLU librarians?

To achieve the goals mentioned above, instruction sessions are scheduled to meet students at their point of need, and librarians can work with faculty to determine appropriate timing for library instruction. The PLU Librarians also have experience in instructional design and can work with you to integrate library instruction into your course and develop research projects and assignments that align with institutional learning outcomes and the goals of your course.

How do I arrange library instruction?

If you are interested in arranging library instruction for your course, you can either contact the liaison librarian for your discipline or follow the steps above to begin the conversation.

The librarians also value working with community partners, such as those in area K-12 schools. If you would like to visit the library and work with us, please contact Roberto Arteaga.