Library Instruction

Library Instruction Request Form // Library Session Evaluation Form
Meet with a Librarian

The Dawson College Library is committed to student success and strives to help students build the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are fundamental to the research process.

Our Library Instruction Sessions introduce students to the range of resources available through the Dawson College Library, and teach them the essential “information literacy” skills they need to find, evaluate, and use different sources of information effectively and ethically (wherever they happen to access them). In this endeavor, we are guided by the work of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), as detailed in the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016).

Information literacy is the 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. (ACRL)

If you are teaching a class that involves a research project, please consider booking a Library Instruction Session. If you would like to discuss the session beforehand, please feel free to email, call, or make an appointment with one of our Reference & Instruction Librarians.

Our presentation(s) can be as long or short as you choose, and can be held in your classroom or the Library computer lab (6C.2). We will always tailor our examples to your course content, and we find that these sessions are most effective when they coincide with a graded research assignment.

Please know that we are also happy to provide individual, in-class support to students while they conduct research on their own topics (acting as “guide on the side” rather than “sage on the stage”).

To schedule a Library Instruction session, please use our online Instruction Request Form, or contact us at the Reference Desk (6C, ext. 1731).

The following session formats are available:
  1. Introduction to the Library (10-15 min)
    Provides a brief orientation to the Library website, its print and online resources, study spaces and amenities, and the research support services provided by the Librarians.
    Ideal for first-year Humanities (Knowledge)
  2. [Classic] Database Search Demonstration (30-45 min)
    Teaches effective keyword search strategies, explains how information is organized within the database(s), and introduces key database search and citation features.
    Suggested for Research Methods (R.M.)
  3. Custom Activity & Instruction (1 hr+, or as agreed)
    The content, format and length of the session will be decided in consultation with the Instruction Librarian, and will seek to develop students’ critical information literacy skills. Group or individual activities will engage students in tasks that build understanding of core values and strategies fundamental to the research process. Activities and instruction may focus on: developing a research topic/question; developing a search strategy; evaluating sources of information; citation styles and academic integrity.
    Courses with a research assignment and focus on ‘critical thinking’
  4. In-Class Research Support (full class period, or as agreed)
    No lecture is given, but a Librarian attends the class to help students refine topics, choose keywords, develop search strategies, evaluate sources, etc…
    Recommended for Integrative Seminar (I.S.) classes