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Instruction Program


Library Instruction Program

Contact a Librarian

Please contact our Faculty Chair, Laura Krier, with questions about scheduling an instruction session. You can request a session using our online instruction request form.

Libraries' missions are evolving in the age of digital media. We have always played a key role in traditional literacy, and most of us are still fans of the reading pleasure that only physical books can bring. Librarians are also teachers, and in the twenty-first century we teach students to find and evaluate information sources (traditional information literacy), to be savvy producers as well as consumers of information in a variety of digital platforms (digital literacy), and to think critically about media messages (media literacy). Some educators have created new terms, combining the above skills as "metaliteracy" or "transliteracy." Even our core curriculum of information literacy is being re-defined by librarians and placed in a new framework, to allow for the significance of context and process in a world where information is fleeting and even reliable sources are continually in flux. These various names for our Library curriculum reflect the complexity of the information universe with which our students have to contend.

Whatever your preferred term, a contemporary Library Instruction Program must be student-driven, mindful of the information-seeking habits of today’s generation, and platform-agnostic. Our goal at the University Library is to inspire students, motivate them to see libraries and information with new eyes, and give them solid grounding in all of the above skills, to be lifelong learners. SSU graduates will not only be competent at researching and using information, they will be empowered by the confidence that comes from an evidence-based intellectual position.

Our Curriculum

Library Orientation

Library Orientation

Students will

  • Know where the Library is located on campus, what spaces we offer, the hours we’re open, and how to contact Library staff for assistance.
  • Know what computing services and borrowing privileges are available to them.
  • Know how to access the Library offsite (off campus), via wifi, and using their Library barcodes and passwords (pin).
  • Know how to locate a book.
Information Literacy

Freshman General Education

Students will

  • Identify key concepts and terms that describe the information needed for their assignment.
  • Construct a basic search strategy, demonstrating the ability to narrow and broaden search results.
  • Retrieve relevant information sources from the Library website as well as the open web.
  • Demonstrate awareness of issues surrounding plagiarism.
  • Evaluate information sources for authority, credibility, audience, purpose, and relevance.
  • Identify unstated assumptions in a variety of media. Recognize prejudice, deception, persuasion or manipulation.
Information Literacy - Advanced Research

In the Major

Students will

  • Refine a research question for a discipline/contextual purpose.
  • Identify and use appropriate databases for discipline-specific research.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with advanced search strategies and refinements (e.g. database limiters, controlled vocabulary).
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the publication process (how information is produced, organized, and disseminated).
  • Compare and contrast the scope and audience of information sources (e.g. primary vs. secondary, popular vs. scholarly, discipline-specific vs. generalist, current vs. historical).
  • Recognize the context of information within a discourse community.

Resources for Faculty