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Faculty & Staff Resources: Library Instruction

Library Instruction

Knowledge of UWW libraries' resources and how to use them efficiently and effectively is important for our faculty and students. To help fill this need, instruction by a reference librarian is available for groups and individuals upon request. When setting up a class visit, it’s best to schedule early to guarantee your first choice of date and time. Individual meetings can be arranged on shorter notice. Below are some highlights. For more thorough information, refer to the Library Instruction guide.

To see what new resources and services the library has to offer, check out the Library Blog. To browse online resources by subject, select the "Articles/Databases" tab from the box on the library homepage, then, choose a subject from the menu on the upper left side.

Library Instruction

Library instruction at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater is available to faculty, staff and students. Typically, students receive instruction in Library resources through a class session(s) scheduled by their instructor. Introductory sessions usually occur in English 102 and more advanced, detailed sessions in higher level research-based courses and others with a research component. However, no matter the course level, instruction is tailored to fit the specific needs of you and your students. Reference Librarians generally meet with classes in our Library Instruction Lab, but may come to your classroom or departmental computer lab if you prefer. Please let us know your needs and concerns, and we will do our best to address them.

Faculty, staff and students may also schedule one-on-one or small group sessions for customized in-depth assistance. Transfer and graduate students from other institutions are often referred to the librarian liaison for their department, since they are not familiar with UW-W resources. However, students do not need to be referred to a librarian; they may contact us directly.

What Will the Librarian Cover?

Librarians will cover whatever concepts or skills you want that will fit within the time allotted. Concepts typically fall within the frames of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which are:

  • Authority is constructed and contextual
  • Information creation as a process
  • Information has value
  • Research as inquiry
  • Scholarship as conversation
  • Searching as strategic exploration

Librarians will also cover any of the following skills and competencies* and additional material based on your request:

  1. Identify and articulate needs which require information solutions.
  2. Identify and select appropriate information sources.
  3. Formulate and efficiently execute search queries appropriate for the information resource.
  4. Interpret and analyze search results and select relevant sources.
  5. Locate and retrieve relevant sources in a variety of formats from the global information environment.
  6. Critically evaluate the information retrieved.
  7. Organize, synthesize, integrate and apply the information.
  8. Self-assess the information-seeking processes used.
  9. Understand the structure of the information environment and the process by which both scholarly and popular information is produced, organized and disseminated.
  10. Understand public policy and the ethical issues affecting the access and use of information.

*Information Literacy Competencies and Criteria for Academic Libraries in Wisconsin

Scheduling Library Instruction for Your Classes

Contact a Reference Librarian at the Reference Desk in the Andersen Library to schedule your library visit. We strongly encourage you to contact us before or near the start of the semester, as time slots fill up quickly. Please have a date, time, session length, topic and any special instructions ready when you call, or include them in your email. Due to space limitations in the library, two class visits cannot be scheduled concurrently, so please have a second choice of date ready just in case.

  • Schedule sessions in person at the Reference Desk, by phone (262) 472-1032 or email at
  • Sessions are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Advanced notice is required, at least one week ahead of time.
  • Requests for particular librarian instructors will be honored as scheduling permits.
  • Students get the most out of library instruction when they have an assignment to focus on when they come in
  • If possible, provide the librarian with a copy of the class assignment(s) or research topic(s) before the session so we can customize the session to fit your needs.
  • Sessions typically cover the use of resources available through the Andersen Library, such as Research@UWW and databases, and print books and periodicals. The What Will the Librarian Cover? section above lists competencies we can address. Please let us know your needs.

On the Day of Your Library Visit

  • The librarian will meet you near the Circulation Desk and Food for Thought café unless other arrangements are made.
  • Instructors are strongly encouraged to accompany students to the library to maximize the effectiveness of the session.

Class Assignment and Resource Guides

Upon request, your subject specialist librarian or the librarian who meets with your class will make an online guide designed around course content or research assignments.

Bringing Classes to the Library for Other Reasons

The Bibliographic Instruction Lab may also be reserved by instructors wishing to bring their classes to the library without instruction from a librarian. However, since priority is given to instructional sessions, it is unlikely that the lab will be available for this use during the first month and a half of the semester when most instruction is scheduled.

For more information regarding library instruction policies, see: