About Library Instruction

The University Library has a variety of instructional offerings at all levels of research experience and for all subjects, whether you are looking for instruction for yourself, a group, or a class you teach. 

What types of sessions does the library offer?

Librarians teach students about using library resources, and incorporate principles of information literacy into their sessions. Recent classes taught included information on how to evaluate web pages, how to properly cite sources, and how to evaluate popular vs. scholarly resources.

Library instruction sessions might focus on a particular resource, or a particular assignment. Possible instruction topics:

  • navigate Mirlyn and Search Tools to find books, journals, and databases.
  • map census data to track population shifts using GIS.
  • do in-depth exploration of art history research databases.
  • conduct literature reviews.
  • use primary sources in research papers.
  • conduct academic research with Google.
  • find and edit image resources to include in presentations and reports.
  • use PubMed/Ovid MEDLINE to find medical research.
  • stay current with research.
  • automatically create citations and bibliographies with RefWorks, EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero.
  • implement projects using the audio studio or the 3D scanner in the Digital Media Commons.

Who does library instruction?

The librarians at MLibrary regularly work with individuals, classes, clubs and groups, organizations, and faculty at the University of Michigan to explain the library and the resources & services available to students. Subject specialists work directly with the departments they serve, while additional teaching librarians conduct sessions at the library and in other classrooms.

Who can request a library instruction session?

Anyone! The library wants everyone to know how to navigate the library's resources and conduct research effectively. Whether you are a student, GSI, or faculty member, librarians are happy to work with you and/or your class or organization.

Community members not affiliated with the University are also welcome to visit and explore instructional opportunities.

How will library instruction help my students?

Students engage with information resources in the academy, workplace, and in their personal lives. The University of Michigan and the Higher Learning Commission (NCA Accreditation) expect that upon graduation, students will have developed the capacity and skills to:

  • Comprehend, apply, and synthesize information
  • Sift through massive amounts of information in order to discover or create new or better understandings of ourselves and the world in which we live
  • Understand the concept of responsible use of knowledge
  • Possess the capacity for lifelong learning


Working collaboratwo people at a computer.  one is talking to the other.tively with faculty and instructors, the library’s instruction program enables students to develop critical thinking and research skills, the capacity to manage information, the ability to evaluate sources, an effective understanding of legal and ethical uses of information and fundamental knowledge of available information resources. Our program enhances the University’s ability to meet these expectations.

What are the library's instruction goals?

The richness, power, and versatility of today's information environment have created expanded opportunities for scholars. Hallmarks include the growth of digital collections, changes in the process of scholarly communication, and increases in the need for life-long learning. To succeed, users must learn new concepts, sources and techniques, and then re-learn them quickly as they change yet again. This is a significant challenge. It is also one which the Library can help meet through its instructional program.

The goals of our instruction program are to:

Connect the campus community with contextually relevant resources to support teaching, learning, and research.

To achieve this, we will teach users to effectively and efficiently access, evaluate, and use resources through course integrated instruction; print and web-based media;  individual and group consultation.

Create new models of instruction to respond to the changing information and learning environments, including new demands, formats, multi and interdisciplinary scholarship.

To achieve this we will conduct user needs and learning outcomes assessments;  create new methods of instruction that engage the campus community; and conduct regular environment scans of the latest research on teaching and learning.

Engage with units across campus to assess needs and develop collaborative responses.  

To achieve this, we will work with campus programs, colleges, and departments  to provide appropriate instruction.


Page maintained by Doreen R Bradley
Last modified: 08/14/2015