Student Learning Outcomes for Library Instruction

Faculty librarians should work with course instructors to identify the specifically desired library instruction student learning outcomes (SLOs) for a particular course or assignment and schedule one or more class meetings as needed to achieve the specifically desired SLOs. The list of typical suggested learning outcomes below exceeds what can usually be covered in a single class session.

After participating in library instruction, students should be able to:

Library Facilities, Resources, and Services

  • Locate specific areas of importance within library facilities.
  • Name examples of library resources, such as books, journals, and databases.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of multiple ways to request library assistance.

Research Strategies

  • Explain the basic steps of the research process.
  • Construct a research inquiry using topic-specific vocabulary.
  • Use Boolean operators and/or other search techniques for dynamic database searching.

Library Databases and Search Tools

  • Locate the library website and, within it, research guides and databases.
  • Distinguish between general and subject-specific databases and select the most appropriate search tool to maximize relevancy of search results.
  • Explain the advantages of using library databases over large language models and web search engines, such as ChatGPT and Google.
  • Utilize search limiters, such as date range, peer reviewed, and full text.
  • Identify database tools, such as cite, download, email, print, and text-to-speech.
  • Identify parts of a detailed record, such as abstract, keywords, subject terms, and publication information.

Finding and Understanding Source Types

  • Differentiate between scholarly and popular publications.
  • Articulate the purpose and distinguishing characteristics of different types of information sources.
  • Define primary and secondary sources and identify the characteristics of each.

Evaluating Sources and Search Results

  • Evaluate sources for accuracy, credibility/authority, relevance, currency, and overall purpose.
  • Determine the usefulness of resources to meet a particular information need.
  • Modify search strategy and/or vocabulary based on an evaluation of search results.

Information Ethics

  • Explain the importance of acknowledging other people's work and ideas.
  • Recognize when documentation of sources is necessary.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of academic integrity and appropriate citation practices.