Library Instruction Policy

Information literacy instruction is offered by two departments: Reference and Instruction and Archives and Special Collections (A&SC). Instruction is offered online and in person. In-person instruction is offered Monday through Friday, excluding the first week of classes and the last two weeks of classes each semester. Information literacy skills are one of the key building blocks for student success. The following provides an overview of LMU's library instruction program, including policies, procedures, and resources for faculty and students.

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Reference and Instruction Department

The Reference and Instruction Department offers comprehensive research support that empowers students to question, learn, and grow in confidence and academic success. We provide expert assistance navigating the wide range of resources available in the library through a variety of mediums, including in-person and 24/7 online. Library instruction sessions teach classes to locate, evaluate, and use information ethically, while personalized research assistance helps students master the (sometimes murky) research process at their point of need. Librarians are also committed to supporting the work of faculty both as teachers and researchers through collaborations that enhance access to high quality resources for scholarly inquiry and investigation. The Reference and Instruction Department is committed to the continued growth and success of the entire LMU community by fostering information literacy and academic research skills for LMU and beyond.

The following guidelines have been developed to provide students with the most effective learning experience. For library instruction to be effective, it must be tied to a class assignment. This gives students the motivation and opportunity to apply what they have learned. To give our librarian instructors enough time to schedule and prepare for the class, we ask that classroom instructors do the following:

  • Request library instruction sessions at least two weeks in advance.
  • Send the assignment to the assigned librarian instructor at least one week in advance.
  • Plan to attend the session; experience has shown that students are more engaged when the instructor participates in the session.

We started to prioritize the scheduling of all instruction requests based on the information literacy learning outcomes of the new Core Curriculum.


Courses with the Information Literacy Flag

So far more than 70 courses have been flagged for information literacy. Librarians will work with faculty to identify information literacy goals in their programs and majors. At least ten percent of the total course grade must assess information literacy to be flagged. If your course has a strong information literacy or research component we encourage you to apply for the Information Literacy Flag. In-person instruction is not required but encouraged.

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses that have a research component are another priority for in-person instruction.

Rhetorical Arts

In-person instruction is required for Rhetorical Arts courses. This is our top priority for scheduling in-person library instruction. The library has also created a Rhetorical Arts LibGuide for students.

2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 Level Courses

The library encourages in-library instruction for all courses at the 2000 level and above with an information literacy or research component.

Other Classes

First Year Seminars

First Year Seminar students are already participating in five hours of online information literacy instruction through online tutorials that were developed to support these courses. The tutorials are meant to take the place of the in-person library instruction for this course. The tutorials have been extensively tested with students and revised every year to improve their effectiveness. However, the Reference and Instruction team will provide library instruction for FYS courses under the following circumstances:

  • FYS library instruction will be provided if the students in the course have completed modules 1, 2, 3, and 4 before visiting the library. We do this so that the professor and writing instructor can communicate to us the specific problems their students are having that the modules did not address.
  • FYS library instruction will be provided for a specific research assignment. The modules are, out of necessity, broad introductions to research. If a faculty member has a research assignment that requires specialized assistance from a librarian, we are happy to schedule instruction.
  • Typically, we do not schedule FYS library instruction during August, September, January, or February. Students have not completed and absorbed the content from the four modules that early in the semester.

The Reference and Instruction librarians have created additional faculty resources to deepen and enhance information literacy instruction in the First Year Seminars:

1000 Level Courses

  • Every first-year student at LMU will spend some mandatory time in their First Year Seminar and Rhetorical Arts courses developing basic information literacy skills. This will provide the foundation for students to later develop more advanced information literacy skills during a required course that has been flagged for information literacy in advanced courses in the disciplines. This tiered and systematic approach will allow for a more consistent information literacy experience across all programs of study.
  • Instead of in-library instruction, 1000 Level courses may request a custom online research guide called a LibGuide. However there is a good chance they will find what they need on the generic subject LibGuide.

Archives and Special Collections

The department of Archives and Special Collections welcomes classes from all departments and all instructional levels. These class visits allow students to interact with primary sources and historical artifacts. The A&SC librarians will co-create an interactive class session with you based on your instructional objectives.

  • Read more about the A&SC instruction program.
  • Schedule instruction from the Archives and Special Collection Department.