Spotlight on Instruction: First-level Instruction Reaches Thousands

By Anne Behler, information literacy librarian and instruction coordinator, LLS

Each semester, the Library Learning Services department handles more than a hundred requests for course-related library instruction. Fall 2012 was certainly no exception — this semester drew the highest number of course-related instruction sessions yet.

EmilyInstruction.jpgWith a focus on the first-level courses CAS 100 (Speech), ENGL 015 (Composition), and ESL 015 (English as a Second Language), the department of six librarians taught a total of 159 course-related instruction sessions for 3,773 students. Librarians Anne Behler, Emily Rimland, Amanda Clossen, Dawn Amsberry, Glenn Masuchika, and Loanne Snavely from Library Learning Services taught the lionshare of this load, with Ellysa Cahoy, John Meier, Paula Contreras, Jade Atwill, and Megan Gilpin teaching a few session as needed. The department also made scheduling arrangements for an additional 11 classes, and provided instruction for Library Research Basics, Citation Management, and LionSearch seminars. Also teaching seminars this fall were Helen Smith, Dawn Childress, Ellysa Cahoy, John Meier, and Eric Novotny.

The Library Learning Services Department also plans and organizes the Annual Libraries Open House, an event that targets the same audience as first-level course-related instruction, and serves as a complement to the content that is offered in library instruction.

Teaching first year students is especially important because the class experience is often their first introduction to college level research, says Department Head Loanne Snavely. “It may be their first opportunity to make a personal connection with someone from the library. In addition to our goals of assisting them in successfully completing their course research, we also hope to promote a personalized connection and a positive attitude towards the library and all of our resources in preparation for the disciplinary research awaiting them in their future.”

Not only does instruction create positive connections with the library, it plants the seeds for students to make a habit of using the library facilities. This is evident in the library’s record setting gate counts, constant use of group study spaces, and the 2012 Faculty Advisory Committee on Academic Computing survey results in which more than 60 percent of respondents reported that they are aware of and/or use the Knowledge Commons facilities. In fact, room 140 in the Knowledge Commons hosted 175 classes that were offered by the library or Media Commons during the fall.

With the increased size of the incoming class last fall and the continued development of relationships with instructors for first-year required courses, Library Learning Services anticipates that the demand for course-related instruction will continue to grow. Assistance with teaching these sessions is always appreciated. If you are interested in teaching a few sessions per semester, please contact Anne Behler, instruction coordinator for LLS. New to teaching? Do not worry; Library Learning Services will work with you to get started.