Library Instruction

The purpose of Georgetown College Library’s Instruction Program is to help students, faculty, staff, and community patrons become information literate by helping them develop the ability to locate, access, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically. Librarians and research specialists are here to help introduce and teach these skills while orienting patrons to available library-subscription resources and services. According to the Association of College and Research Libraries, “information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning” (ACRL Information Literacy Standards).

To learn more about the types of topics covered in typical library information literacy sessions, please see the options below. Feel free to pick and choose topics to fit the needs of your course, research assignments, or group.

Library Instruction: All Classes
Time RequiredPoints Covered
Orientation to the new library website and OneSearch20 MinutesNavigating the new website and WorldShare search interface

Federated searching of all library resources (excluding Archives) from a single search query

Searching libraries worldwide

Develop a search strategy (highly recommended)10 MinutesNarrowing topics

Identifying keywords and synonyms

Use the library’s catalog to look for books, DVDs or journal titles 10 MinutesFinding books and videos on a topic

Accessing electronic books

Using call numbers to locate items in the building

Know the difference between popular and scholarly articles 20 MinutesComparing and contrasting journals vs magazines articles

Discussing the publication process

Evaluate websites and use Google Scholar in tandem with library resources 30 MinutesAnalyzing sites for credibility

Utilizing Google Scholar to locate citations and full-text

Learn how to utilize database citation generators (i.e. Ebsco, OCLC, Proquest, etc.) and citation manuals 30-40 MinutesUnderstanding when to cite

Limitations and usefulness of citation generators

Understanding how to use an official citation manual

Use general interest databases to find articles on common, popular topics 15 MinutesUsing databases like Academic Search Complete to find articles on topics

Using the “find full-text” link to retrieve articles


Library Instruction: Upper Level Classes (Students have library basics)
Time RequiredPoints Covered
Mine a good article to discover other relevant sources on their topics 30 MinutesFind full text from a bibliography or works cited list

Reading citations

Distinguishing between book and article citations

Finding the full titles of abbreviated journal names

Using the catalog and journal finder to locate items

Searching a database to find related articles (especially through the use of subject headings)

Identify the different types of scholarly articles 15 MinutesComparing and distinguishing between: research articles and literature reviews; primary vs. secondary

Discussing what peer-reviewed means

Search specialized databases for their fields20 MinutesHow to search for topics in PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, Lexis-Nexis, STN Easy, etc.
Request articles and books through Interlibrary Loan? 5 MinutesHow to request articles or books

How to access articles or books you have requested


LRC 101 Library Session I = 50 minutes
Searching for books and articles: Search strategy and the databases most appropriate for your assignment and differences between scholarly/peer-reviewed journals and popular magazines.

LRC 102 Library Session II = 50 minutes
Evaluating sources: Discussion of what is a reputable source, with an emphasis on Web sites and utilizing Google Scholar in the research process. Professors may select one more topic from the instruction menus to include in this session.

LRC 201 Library Session = FLIPPED CLASSROOM
In the FLIPPED CLASSROOM, students complete a series of quizzes online before the scheduled library workshop. On the day of the workshop, the librarian will give a brief (~10 minutes) session clearing up confusion seen in the quizzes, and then the remainder of the time is spent as a “research day”. In a TR class, it’s not unusual for students to find all the sources they need for their paper in this one session.

Best for: Classes that have already had LRC 101, have their topics approved, and are ready to start searching; professors who can make sure students take the quizzes ahead of time.

To set up a library session, use the online form. We ask that you request a session at least one week in advance; you will receive a confirmation usually within 24 hours of its receipt.


Suggestions for Faculty
  • Schedule your instruction session(s) in advance and include it on your syllabus. We welcome the opportunity to work with your students in follow-up class sessions so that we may go into more depth with library resources and advanced search strategies.
  • Check with your library instructor or library liaison in advance of to see what types of resources the library has available to support your research assignments and tasks. Depending on the nature of the research, it may be necessary for the library to purchase resources, if funds are available.
  • Give students the research assignment in advance of the library instruction session. It is often useful to share the assignment with the library instructor for planning purposes.
  • Have students determine topics prior to attending the library instruction session and share the types of topics students are researching with the library instructor in advance.
  • You may wish to coordinate with your library instructor to develop a mini research task that ties in with your overall research assignment grade (i.e. locating 2 peer-reviewed articles before the end of the library instruction session; utilizing microfilm/microfiche resources for a targeted research assignment; accurately formatting resources in a bibliography or works cited page, etc.).