About Library Instruction

University Libraries Instruction Mission Statement

The University Libraries Instruction Program supports the educational mission of Texas A&M University and the missions of the University Libraries for discovery and learning through instructional initiatives that develop skills for information discovery, scholarship, and academic excellence. Working collaboratively with faculty, students, and the community, the Libraries. Instruction Program promotes critical thinking and challenges learners to consider their role as consumers, producers, and creators of information. Learners will be empowered to effectively identify, find, evaluate, create and ethically use information in their academic pursuits, in their future careers, and as life-long learners in an information-rich society.

What do Librarians Teach?

Librarians teach practical skills and conceptual knowledge related to information organization, discovery, research methods and ethical use of information. Librarians call this Information Literacy. Some examples of typical library instruction include:

  • Overview of the research process
  • How to focus and narrow a research topic
  • Finding unique resources such as statistics, data, maps, business information, and government documents
  • Effectively locating materials on specific subjects
  • Use of primary source materials in research
  • Creating a comprehensive literature review
  • Distinguishing between scholarly vs. popular articles
  • Exploring issues of intellectual property and copyright
  • Roles of authorship and plagiarism

Who can Schedule Library Instruction?

The University Libraries will work with faculty, instructors, graduate teaching assistants, student groups, community groups and even area high schools. If you have an interest in library instruction, we would love to hear from you.

Do Classes Meet in the Libraries?

Not always. Librarians teach in a variety of environments. They can meet with students in your regularly scheduled classroom or arrange for instructional space in one of our library buildings. If you are teaching online, invite your librarian to participate via video conferencing, online chat, or discussion board.

What is Information Literacy?

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as a set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.[1]

Librarians have been champions of information literacy for over a decade.  The proliferation of information in its many forms and the complexity of the information ecosystem make information literacy skills crucial for an educated populace. At its root, information literacy is transformational. Learners who grasp the central concepts and skills associated with information literacy will be empowered to explore new knowledge, adapt to the changing information landscape, and adopt greater critical thinking skills.

[1] Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework