This week, I had the opportunity to sit in on a live instructional library session at community college. The instructor of an English class brought his class to the library to learn about the resources at the library. The session lasted for about 45 minutes and was a very nice introduction to the library.
From what I could tell—the session was developed assuming the students had never used the library at the college until now. Since the session was fairly early in the semester, I could see how this overview would be critical to the student’s success at the college.
Initially the librarian took the class on a physical tour, pointing out where helpful areas of the library were located. At the same time he reviewed general policies of the library, where to return books, how to use your student ID, etc. I could definitely tell that this presentation was specifically created for first time students. The instructor asked this question to clarify. The majority of the students confirmed this fact.
The class was taken into the computer classroom where he demonstrated how to search for books or periodicals using the library catalog. During this time, the instructor clearly thought of different learning styles — he provided written materials that reinforced the hands on activities and practice searches. The instructor also provided alternative methods for searching and included how to do advances more sophisticated search using a very familiar source like Google.
The librarian then showed students how to save, download, or email an article and how to appropriate use citations. He showed the class how to use the citation software “Noodle Bib.” At the end of the class, there was time for question and answer and time to get some practice and additional one-on-one training.
A formal evaluation was not given at the conclusion of the class. But I felt that it was an excellent introduction to the library.