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University at Buffalo Libraries

Guidelines for Requesting General Library Instruction


Library instruction sessions are designed to introduce students to information sources and effective strategies for conducting library research. Librarians teach these sessions with a focus on the UB Libraries' print and electronic resources. The sessions take place during regular class time in computerized classrooms, and the lessons are targeted to specific research assignments. Librarians have found that students are best served when assignments are clearly developed, and when ample time and appropriate information are provided for designing relevant lesson plans and supporting materials. To make the most of classroom time, the following guidelines must be adhered to when requesting library instruction:

  • The Library Instruction Request must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the preferred date of the instruction session. This will allow ample time for assigning the class to a librarian, reserving an instruction room, designing an appropriate lesson plan, and preparing supporting materials.
  • Library instruction sessions must be targeted to specific course assignments.
  • The Library Instruction Request must be accompanied by a copy of the research assignment that students are responsible for. The assignment should specify the purpose of the paper (informative, persuasive, analytical, etc.), the expected length of the paper, the number and types of sources to be used (articles, books, web sites, peer-reviewed sources, etc.), and the citation style manual that students are expected to comply with (MLA, APA, Chicago , etc.).
  • Professors must ensure that students understand the research assignment, and that they have topics selected before the library instruction session. This will allow students to use class time on their research topics. Sample topics must be submitted with the Library Instruction Request Form.
  • Professors must attend the library instruction sessions with their students. Professor participation dramatically enhances the student learning experience.