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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons


A guide to library resources and services for SSU faculty.

Instruction @ the Library

 . Students in a classroom

The SSU Library provides instruction sessions designed to teach information competencies to students. Sessions are tailored to the needs of each course and students.

The most effective instruction occurs when these sessions are linked to a well-defined assignment and offered at the time when the students are working on that assignment.  

Faculty can request formal instructional sessions for their classes from a Research & Instruction Librarian. 

What is Information Literacy

Information literacy is:

  • Critical thinking (including recognizing what information is needed; how to find, organize, and evaluate information; how to use information ethically)
  • Lifelong learning
  • Research process
  • Research skills
  • Teaching students how to systematically approach new topics
  • Teaching students discipline-specific tools

Related literacies that can be integrated to enhance an assignment:

Why Collaborate with the Library

Integrating information literacy into a course can:

  • Reduce student research anxiety
  • Reduce plagiarism
  • Foster lifelong critical thinking skills
  • Introduce key concepts necessary for academic success across the curriculum
  • Improve the quality of student work by demystifying the research process and making their search process more efficient (allowing for time for deeper analysis and understanding and more thoughtful expression)

Possible Components of an Instruction Session

  • Developing and refining a topic (concept mapping)
  • Searching for books and eBooks
  • Searching for full text scholarly articles (library databases)
  • Reading scholarly articles
  • Types of sources (primary, government, etc.)
  • Structuring an effective search
  • Specialized databases for specific research fields/topics
  • Advanced database search techniques
  • Citing sources and RefWorks
  • Bibliographic traces
  • Archival research
  • Searching for laws/legislation/policy
  • Searching for tests/measures
  • Media literacy and searching for news sources
  • Website evaluation
  • Google
  • Presentation tools
  • Social media tools

And more!

Scheduling a Session

Contact your Research and Instruction Librarian about collaborating and scheduling a session...



  • Instruction can be held in the library’s computer-equipped classrooms, your regular classroom, or a campus computer lab available for booking.  (If choosing a classroom not equipped with computers students should bring laptops.)
  • Please schedule sessions in advance to allow adequate preparation time.
  • When booking please include the course prefix, number, time and number of students.
  • Every effort will be made to accommodate your chosen date, but please supply back-up date(s).

Additional information:

  • It is helpful to have a copy of the assignment and/or syllabus beforehand to assist us in designing your session and, in some cases, designing a course-specific online research guide. 
  • Consider contacting a librarian during your class design - we can explore what information literacy might look like in your course and help create a plagiarism resistant research assignment.
  • Consider providing your librarian's contact info for students in your syllabus.

Customized Instruction Materials

Along with an instruction session, customized handouts or a specialized online research guide may be created to meet the research needs of a class.  Here are some examples:

Project Information Literacy Findings

Project Information Literacy Research Infographic

Infographic from Project Information Literacy