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Library Instruction Sessions: Searching

A guide to library instructional sessions which support university curricula and lifelong learning.


Contact the library liaison for your program to collaborate on a search instruction session. Collaboration will allow your library liaison to tailor instruction to best meet your learning outcomes. Instruction should be timed so that students learn about searching and research at their point of need and therefore increase information literacy retention.



Content Providers:CDC/ Dawn Arlotta; Photo Credit: Cade Martin


Search instruction sessions are highly adaptable to different programs, classes, types of learners, learning outcomes, and assignments. Sessions focus on subject specific-library resources. Instruction can be tailored to cover the following topics and more:

  • access
  • Boolean searching
  • resource choice and searching in a specific database
  • search strategies
  • online searching
  • keyword vs. subject searching
  • point of care tools
  • testing instruments
  • grant sources
  • searching for dissertations
  • evaluating websites
  • Encore
  • ebook databases


Search Instruction Goals


  • Students will be able to access resources from off campus.
  • They will be able to identify and choose an appropriate database for their research needs.
  • Students will be able to formulate and perform keyword and subject search strategies.