Contact a librarian for classroom library instruction:

Butler faculty librarians teach library research skills that support the Association of College & Research Libraries Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education. They provide information literacy/library research skills in support of the core curriculum through the first-year seminar and via the librarian subject liaison program with Butler's colleges and academic majors. This provides a tiered information literacy approach where students are introduced to the academic research process in the first-year seminar and then learn discipline-specific research skills within their majors.

To request a library instruction session, contact your college/department liaison librarian. For first-year seminar library instruction support, contact Sally Neal, Associate Dean for Public Services, 940-9949,

Concepts/Skills taught during an Instruction Session:

Teaching students how to determine their information need, develop terminology, access and search for resources, and evaluate and use information effectively, promotes academic excellence and life-long learning. It is essential to students' success here at Butler and in their future careers and life experiences. Below are some examples of areas where Butler librarians can provide instructional and curricular support. This instruction can be delivered both in-person and virtually.

  • Defining an information need - how to formulate a research topic, developing key search terms
  • Analyzing types of information sources (journals vs. magazines; pre-prints; conference proceedings, primary vs. secondary sources)
  • Interpreting, comprehending the structure of research results (ex. how to read a journal article)
  • Accessing information tools (subscription-based, free)
  • Utilizing the library catalog / accessing eBooks and finding books in the library
  • Finding articles in a general database such as Academic Search Premier
  • Using specialized databases such as MLA, PsycINFO, ERIC, etc. for discipline-specific research
  • Evaluating websites, blogs, articles, books, etc.
  • Exploring advanced web searching - Google Scholar, Google Book Search
  • Explaining the shifting landscape of how academic information is published, shared, and valued
  • Discussing Academic Honesty / Plagiarism / Copyright
  • Teaching citation fundamentals
  • Demonstrating the use of citation management tools - RefWorks, Zotero
  • Providing curricular design support to ensure that assignments/papers/projects are making the best use of the libraries' information resources

How is instruction most effective?

Listed below are some best practices that will ensure that your students have a productive learning experience:

  • Instruction is most effective when it's connected with a research project or paper. Meet with your librarian to develop specific research learning outcomes for the assignment.
  • Provide the librarian with a copy of your course syllabus and assignment.
  • Integrate assessment into the library research skills process. Your librarian can help you build the library instruction quizzes or tests and/or assist in assessing the quality of the sources students used for the research assignment.
  • Irwin Library has an instruction classroom that has 18 laptops. Your librarian can schedule this space or an on-campus computer lab for you. Providing an interactive, hands-on learning experience in a computer classroom promotes student learning; your librarian can share ideas about how to incorporate active learning into the session.
  • Request instruction sessions well in advance. This allows time for the librarian to review relevant course materials, develop pertinent learning objectives, and review the class content and format with you.
  • Work with your liaison librarian to time the library research skills session at the students' point of need. Timing the session when the students will actually begin researching leads to stronger learning outcomes.
  • During the session, feel free to ask questions and reinforce concepts that the librarian is teaching. Interaction between faculty, students, and the librarian enriches the learning process and stresses the importance of library instruction to students.
  • Consider scheduling multiple sessions if the session goals are beyond those that can be covered during the allotted time.

Make use of Online Library Instruction Tutorials

Your liaison librarian can select appropriate online library research tutorials or create online modules to support library research instruction for your classes. Included here are some selected sites to quality tutorials:

CLIP: Cooperative Library Instruction Project
PRIMO: Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online Databases

Butler Librarians also create tutorials; a selection of these are linked below:

Business Research Tutorials
Interlibrary Loan at Butler
Understanding Plagiarism (accompanying quiz available)

Again, contact your liaison librarian to integrate information literacy tutorials into your students' learning experience.

Integrate Library Instruction and Library Resources in Moodle and Online Learning

Interested in integrating library research tutorials, resources, and librarian-led chat sessions into Moodle? Consult our Moodlepalooza Cheat Sheet. Your liaison librarian will be happy to work with you to extend information literacy instruction into the Moodle environment and help you deliver other online information literacy learning opportunities to your students.

Liaison Program

Who is your librarian?

The Butler University Libraries have a subject librarian liaison program with colleges and departments at the institution. Each academic department is assigned a faculty librarian as a subject liaison librarian. Subject liaison librarians provide information literacy instruction, collection development, and library service support for their assigned college/department(s). This model fosters faculty participation in the libraries and insures that the libraries' resources support the University curriculum and both student and faculty scholarship. Contact your subject liaison with any question that is library-related.

For additional information concerning faculty-specific library services, follow the links below: