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Instruction Options 

Using the library is a multi-faceted discipline. The folowing chart delineates many of the instructino otpoins available and provides links to aid in assessing your students' research skills.  

Topic Focus Content
Introduction to library home page Where to find sources
Getting to help when it's needed
When to use the catalog/databases
Choosing databases
Resources by Subject pages
Intro to interlibrary loan
B, I 1,2
Library tour Introduction to the physical layout of the library and services offered B 1,2
Choosing a topic Brainstorming
Narrowing and focusing topics
Topics as questions
B,I 1
Choosing keywords Keywords as helpful tools
Keywords from a topic statement
Nouns as keywords
Related words or synonyms
Students will complete the Search Strategies worksheet
B,I 1,2
Introduction to the catalog Author and title searching
Basic keyword searchin
Call numbers
Printing/emailing results
Logging in
Students will log in to the catalog and find one author or title of interest.
B,I 1,2
Advanced catalog searching Boolean searching, truncation
Links to subject searching
Call number refresher
Electronic books and documents
Finding specialized sources (e.g. videos)
Students will find one book and one electronic resource on a topic of interest.
I,A 1,2
Boolean searching Boolean search concepts
Students will construct one or more search strings from their topic or Search Strategies worksheet
B,I 2
Resources by Subject pages Choosing Resources by Subject pages
Determining subject approaches to a topic
Learning more about a database
Research Guides and Internet sites
B,I,A 1,2
Exploratory research Finding introductory or foundational information
CQ Researcher, subject encyclopedias, and similar general information sources
B,I 1
Journals vs. mass-media magazines Define journals and magazines
Explain why journals are usually preferable
Discuss the publication process
Quick-fire quiz on journals vs. magazines
B,I 1
General research databases Introduce general research databases
Keyword searches, limits
Understanding citations/abstracts
Finding further relevant sources using subject listings
Choosing among results
PDF vs. HTML files
Navigating to full text
Printing/emailing results
Citation help in the database (if applicable)
Students will find one article
I,A 1,2,3
Discipline-specific databases Refresher on choosing a database
Learning the scope and coverage of a database
Details for searching the database in question
Using citations to expand a search
Advanced helps (e.g. opening an EBSCO account, Refworks)
I (perhaps)
Interlibrary loan Introductions to the ILL process and requests I,A 1,2
Evaluating web sites Currency, relevance, accuracy, perspective etc.
View reliable and flawed sites
I,A 1,3
What is plagiarism? What constitutes plagiarism?
Why give credit?
What constitutes academic integrity?
I,A 5
Citations Style manuals
Elements of a citation
Help pages for citations
I,A 5
Advanced subject searching Keyword vs. subject searching A 2,3
Finding legal information Legislative branch: legislation, codes, how a bill becomes a law, finding relevant materials
Judicial branch: case law, levels of the court, finding cases, Shepardizing a case
Executive branch:  regulatory law, CFR, Federal Register,
I,A 1,2,3
Finding business information Company research
Industry research
Web searches
I,A 1,2,3


Content Level

  • B=Beginning
  • I=Intermediate
  • A=Advanced

ACRL Standard

ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards

1=Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

2=Standard Two: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

3=Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

4=Standard Four: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

5=Standard Five: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of informtion and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 American Library Association.

Hours of Operation*

7:45 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday 7:45 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m.-11 p.m.

*Service points close 15
minutes before closing time


Suggestion Box

Slippery Rock Digital Collections 

Slippery Rock University Archives Digital Collections