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Library Instruction: VSU's Library Instruction Policy

Get information about classes and workshops offered by the library to supplement understanding of it's resources and services.

Policy Manual


Policies and Procedures


I.                      Purpose


The library instruction/information literacy department seeks to provide formal, and informal, instruction and information concerning the resources and services offered by Johnston Memorial Library to the Virginia State University community. 


The department is overseen by a Library Instruction Coordinator, who reports to the Associate Librarian for Public Services.  The Library Instruction Coordinator is responsible for the planning and execution of all formal instruction, working with other library staff in the reference and collection development departments to provide instructional services, as well as participate in individual research sessions requested by students and faculty.  The library instruction department also provides training to staff, and other interested parties, concerning different areas of the library, library databases, assessment and educational software relevant to formal instruction, etc.  


II.                    Facilities


The library training center (Room 123-Main Library) serves as the center for formal, and informal, library instruction.  This classroom contains 40 state-of-the-art computer workstations for student use, a teacher’s workstation, 3 projection screens, 3 ceiling mounted LCD projectors, and an “electronic cabinet” filled with VCR and DVD equipment for educational use. 


The training center is open for use by library instructors for formal classroom use only.  If a faculty member, or student, would like to use the classroom, a request should be made to the Library Instruction Coordinator in written form (a formal letter or e-mail) at least one week in advance of the requested meeting time.  Use of the classroom is only granted if there is no other place on campus that can facilitate the meeting, or if only the training center’s computers carry the program needed by the faculty member (Ex. The R-I Web database or SciFinder Scholar).


Each computer in the training center has several programs that may be useful for faculty and student use.  They are detailed below.


q  MS-Office 2010

o   Word 2010

o   Access 2010

o   Excel 2010

o   PowerPoint 2010

q  Endnote Web CITE WHILE YOU WRITE Plug-in (MS Word)

q  SciFinder Scholar (for majors in the sciences)

q  Internet Explorer/Mozilla Firefox

q  ArcGIS


All student computers are linked to the teacher’s machine via a software program called SynchronEyes.  This software allows for the teacher to have control over the student machines when necessary to discourage misconduct in the classroom, as well as keep students’ attention focused on the material being presented.  For more information about this software, please consult the software’s manual inside the podium below the teacher’s computer.


      III.                   Formal Classroom Training


The library instruction section welcomes opportunities to facilitate student and faculty training concerning library resources and services.  One of the major tenants of the library instruction program is to develop a solid relationship between the library and various academic departments, service areas, and groups on campus. 


Another major focus of library instruction is to prepare students for the higher level of research and study that is required of college-level courses.  As of Fall 2006, Virginia State University recognized this necessity by reorganizing their General Education requirements for all incoming freshmen to include a Freshmen Studies class (FRST 101).  This class is required of all incoming freshmen to the University (whether they are new or transferring from another institution), and is counted towards completion of their academic goals at Virginia State.


The library sessions for Freshmen Studies are comprised of an online experience through the library’s website.  Each visit exposes students to different aspects of the library’s services and resources.  During the first, and final, sessions, a pre-test (first session) and post-test (final session) are given to assess students’ information literacy skills both prior, and after, formal instruction.  Below, the four  general sessions are outlined.


Ø  Session 1: Library Overview

      Information Literacy Pre-test

Ø  Session 2: Library Catalog

Ø  Session 3: Library Databases

Ø  Session 4: Evaluating Web Sites/Emerging Technologies/Plagiarism

       Information Literacy Post-test

IV.                  Research Consultation


Virginia State University faculty, staff, and students can request an individual research consultation appointment with the Library Instruction Coordinator.  These one-on-one sessions focus on a particular research topic and the results are given to the individual for support of their topic.  Research consultations are meant to provide individual instruction, not to do the work for the person requesting help! 


To request a research consultation, a completed LIBRARY INSTRUCTION REQUEST FORM (see UPPER LEVEL INSTRUCTION), written letter, telephone notification, or e-mail at least three (3) days in advance is required. 

V.                    Web Site Area


Johnston Memorial Library’s web site ( hosts a page about Library Instruction.


For specific library instruction questions or requests, users should click on the LIBRARY INSTRUCTION section of the web site to obtain contact information for the Library Instruction Coordinator, a training room calendar, and online library instruction request form.  

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