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Southworth Library

Library Instruction Program

Library Instruction Program Policies

 Southworth Library Learning Commons faculty librarians offer formal library instruction to all classes conducted by SUNY Canton faculty. 

In entry level and core courses, librarians teach basic library and research skills; in upper level courses, librarians focus on more advanced search strategies.  Sessions are most effective when librarians and course instructors work collaboratively.


The Library Instruction Program has two major objectives:

1.      Instruct students to locate and use information related to course assignments

2.      Instruct information literacy and research competencies to instill life-long learning

SLLC uses ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education to inform our information literacy instruction :

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration


Faculty planning library instruction should consider the following policies:

  • Request for library instruction must be made 7 days in advance to ensure librarian and room availability and to give the librarian ample time to prepare for class.
    • Requests made with less than 10 days lead-time may or may not be able to be scheduled depending on the requirements of the instruction session, availability of the time slot, and the availability of a faculty librarian.
  • The instructor should be present at the time of instruction.
  • The skills that we teach are most effective when they are tied to an assignment, giving students the motivation and opportunity to apply what they've learned in the session.  Therefore, if the requested instruction is intended to help students with a specific assignment, it is strongly recommend that faculty schedule instruction at a point in the semester when students are aware of the assignment requirements and have had time to consider their research focus.  
  • Library instruction sessions are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Library instruction may be requested for weekday mornings and evenings.
  • No library instruction will be scheduled when the Library is closed.
  • All library instruction is scheduled through the Library Instruction Request Form on the Southworth Library Learning Commons’ website.

After an instruction session has been scheduled, an instruction librarian will contact you to follow up or request additional information.


The SL110 instruction classroom is reserved for library instruction during the fall and spring semesters.  When not scheduled for instruction, it is an open lab for students.  Consequently, it is unavailable for other uses, except through special permission from the Library Director.

When arriving to use the library instruction classroom, please proceed directly to room SL122 on the first floor of the library.  Please arrive early and politely inform anyone using the room that they will need to relocate.  Inform the staff working at the Help Desk of any problems with the technology.

Users are responsible and accountable for the cleanliness and order of the classroom following use.

The Southworth Library Learning Commons Instruction Classroom is equipped with the following:

  • 20 laptop computers with Internet access
  • 20 seats
  • Instructor desk
  • Smartboard
  • iPad Classroom Set and charging cart 

Instruction Format


Instruction librarians work with the course instructors to tailor instruction to class need.  Instruction may take a variety of formats:


Beginning Assistance

  • Freshmen or introductory courses
  • General library and web-based resources
  • Basic research skills
  • Plagiarism concerns

Subject-Specific Instruction

  • Focused on the resources within a particular discipline
  • Tailored to fit specific course needs
  • Both library and web-based resources
  • More sophisticated search strategies and resources

Assignment-Based Instruction (most common request)

  • Any student, any course
  • Focuses on research tools appropriate for a specific assignment
  • Both library and web-based resources

Digital-Content Collaborative Instruction

  • Utilizes mobile set of classroom iPads or other technology
  • Faculty librarian focuses on educational application use or incorporation into student learning outcomes
  • Is collaborative in nature, based on a co-teaching model

*For more information on the digital-content, iPad-enabled instruction program, click here!


Embedded Librarianship

  • Librarians can be registered as course assistants in the Blackboard course shell
  • Librarians provide information literacy content applicable to course outcomes and can assist with course design
  • Librarians interact directly with students through Blackboard communication tools for the duration of the course

*To request an embedded librarian for one of your online courses, please contact the Director to discuss your needs!



Assessment is an important aspect of refining the instruction program at Southworth Library Learning Commons.  Assessment is carried out both formally and informally, and faculty collaboration in developing appropriate assessments is welcome.

Statistics are maintained in the Southworth Library Learning Commons’ Dashboard, and include the name of the requesting faculty and course, date, time, location, and number of students in attendance.

A formal evaluation survey instrument is employed at the end of each instruction session.

Information assessment is made on personal remarks and observations.  Any comments or observations are welcome.



Leah Fitzgerald -