Library Instruction Program




Media Inquiries

Library Instruction Program at Sarah Lawrence College’s Esther Raushenbush Library

The goal of the library instruction program is to teach students to become confident information seekers who understand that research is an iterative process and one that requires persistence and a high-level of critical thinking. Our instruction is designed to be active and engaging, and we partner with faculty to design targeted library instruction for each individual class. We also blend applicable concepts from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education into our teaching.

FYS Library Instruction

The library offers introductory sessions for all FYS classes to orient incoming students to the Library. In the past several years, we have had a 100% participation rate for these sessions. This approximately hour-long session is designed to serve as an introduction to the library and its resources. This includes an overview of our resources and services (both physical and online) and provides important information for students on accessing library materials and research assistance. This session is invaluable for students as it sets the foundation for good research skills and a familiarity with the library that greatly benefits them in their coursework, conference work, and overall experience at SLC.

Library Workshops

Workshops are open to all students, staff, and faculty. Selection varies by semester. To view workshop descriptions, calendar, and to RSVP, click here

Book a Library Instruction Class

Faculty are welcome and encouraged to book a library instruction class which can be tailored for specific course or assignment learning objectives. We can include class time for guided research practice when classes can be scheduled to meet in our library instruction lab (E1).

We offer the following hour-long lessons in addition to custom class options.

Standard Class Options

Introduction to Research

  • Introduction to basic search strategies.

Advanced Research Strategies

  • This highly customizable lesson is designed for classes that already have some basic research skills.

Defining and Preventing Plagiarism

  • This lesson provides an overview of 10 different types of plagiarism, techniques on how to avoid committing plagiarism, and practice with notetaking, paraphrasing, and citation.

Mendeley Citation Management

  • Students will learn how to organize research by using the citation management tool Mendeley. This lesson includes a workshop component in which students are encouraged to create free accounts and explore features of Mendeley with time for specific questions

Archives (45 min-1 hour)

  • Customize a visit to the College Archives to orient students to the intricacies of archival research, using oral histories in research, or introduce students to using archival documents relating to a course specific assignment or topic utilizing the history of the College.

Customized Class Options

Developing a Research Topic (20 min)

  • Students practice developing inquiry-based research topics from idea to keyword selection, and finally to creation of initial search phrases
  • Concepts: Research is Inquiry

Creating a Search Strategy (20-30 min)

  • Ideal for classes of students with pre-selected research topics, this lesson offers suggestions on beginning research sources and techniques, in addition to a discussion of the research process as a whole.
  • Concepts: Searching as Strategic Exploration, Research is Inquiry

Introduction to Research (20 min)

  • Covers basic searching in the library databases and catalog.
  • Concepts: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Creating Effective Searches (30 min)

  • Covers keyword, Boolean, and subject searching.
  • Concepts: Research as Inquiry

Evaluating Sources (25 min)

  • Socratic lesson in which students and librarians create a framework for evaluating information based on assignment or course context.
  • Concepts: Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Finding and Identifying Primary Sources (30 min)

  • Primary sources are defined and differentiated from secondary sources and techniques for locating primary sources are investigated.
  • Concepts: Scholarship as a Conversation, Searching as Strategic Exploration

Overview of Library Resources (15 min)

  • Covers circulation, library spaces, ILL, research guides, consultations, etc.
  • Concepts: General introduction to the library.

Finding Data and Statistics (30 min)

  • The importance of reputable information is discussed and data-finding techniques and resources are explored.
  • Concepts: Authority is Constructed and Contextual, Information Has Value, Searching as Strategic Exploration

Citation Styles (25 min)

  • Provides an overview of why different citation styles are used. Includes instruction and practice with a citation style of your choosing.
  • Concepts: Information Has Value

(Abridged) Defining and Preventing Plagiarism (30 min)

  • A shortened version of our full plagiarism class, this lesson provides an overview of different types of plagiarism and techniques on how to avoid committing plagiarism.
  • Concepts: Information Has Value, Scholarship as Conversation

(Abridged) Mendeley Citation Management (20 min)

  • A shortened version of our full Mendeley class, this lesson provides a brief overview of Mendeley’s capability.