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Lansing Community College Library

Reference & Instruction Guide: Procedures

Policies, procedures, best practices and training guide, for reference and instruction services.

Philosophy of Instruction Services

The goal of LCC Library instruction services is not just to describe resources and techniques necessary for the successful completion of specific assignments. Rather, it is to teach information literacy skills as outlined in the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) division of the American Library Association (ALA). Instruction Librarians employ effective pedagogy by incorporating techniques of active learning, problem-based learning, and group work when appropriate.

Instruction Services Team

The Instruction Services Team (IST) provides the overall direction for all library instruction. Library instruction is available to current LCC students and employees. The Instruction Services Team provides guidance in instruction sessions, workshops, and communication intended toward development of information literacy skills. Please read more about IST and its charges and responsibilities by referring to the IST tab under the Library Teams Research Guide. IST performs the following activities as part of their duties:

  • Collaborate with faculty to create library instruction that is course supportive and relevant
  • Develop course specific student learning outcomes
  • Prepare and maintain instruction resources
  • Provide instruction that addresses various learning styles, and utilizes current technology and alternative methods of delivery
  • Assess student learning
  • Assess team effectiveness


Generally, over 150 instruction sessions are scheduled each fall and spring semester. Library instruction is also provided during the summer semester.

The most commonly scheduled classes:

  • Writing
  • English
  • Nursing
  • Academic Success
  • English as a Second Language

TO DO: Locate the "Instruction Sessions" folder in the LCC Files and review the folders for the various courses that have scheduled instruction sessions: N:/SA-Division/Learning Assistance/Reference Instruction Services/Instruction/Instruction Sessions.

  • Library instruction is available for all courses taught at the Downtown Campus and at West Campus.
  • At LCC East, West, and the Livingston County Center library instruction is available. Faculty at these locations, as well as at West Campus, are responsible for reserving a computer classroom for the session.
  • Occasionally, or during peak times of the semester, the library session may be presented in a computer classroom elsewhere on main campus. This normally occurs due to the library classroom being scheduled with another class.

TO DO: Use the college website to locate information for each learning center. Be sure to note locations and directions for each center.

Instruction assessment is ongoing and tied to student learning outcomes. Learning outcomes assessment activities are developed and / or modified to meet the changing needs of LCC courses and programs.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS)

Instruction librarians use a variety of CATS to check for students' understanding and learning. Assessment techniques used during a session allows the librarian to make adjustments to assist students' learning. CATS presented at the conclusion of a session allows the librarian to reflect on the students' experience and to make changes to their teaching for a future library instruction sessions. A typical assessment technique used by the instruction team is a One Minute Paper.

Additional assessment / evaluation activities:

  • Peer Observations
  • ENGL Essay Reviews
  • Faculty surveys


  • Review the One Minute Paper questions and access LibWizard -Forms to view some of the student responses.
  • Locate the Peer Observation folder in the LCC Files and access the New Librarian Pre-Observation form and the Classroom Observation Form.  You will use these materials when you observe instruction sessions facilitated by other librarians as part of your onboarding training. N:\SA-Division\Learning-Assistance\Internal-Communications\Library-Teams\Instruction-Services\Team-Documents\Peer-Observation 

It is important to keep statistics regarding the number of sessions conducted and the number of students present during the instruction session.

After completing an instruction session, the librarian conducting the instruction session should record the statistical information on the Instruction Calendar in LibCal. 

Instruction statistics for each semester are compiled by the Instructional Services Librarian and reported to the Library Department.


  • In the LCC Files locate the document Library Instruction Cumulative Statistics located in the Instruction Team's folder. Review the statistics report for the most recent semester. Note the number of sessions and students served for the semester and how it compares to past semesters. N:\SA-Division\Learning-Assistance\Internal-Communications\Library-Teams\Instruction-Services\Team-Documents\Statistics 
  • Access LibCal and find the event calendars by clicking on "events" in the orange bar at the top of the LibCal homepage. Find the instruction calendar by clicking on Library Instruction under Modify/View. Right click on an event to find the attendance numbers. This is how you add your attendance numbers to an instruction session.  

Instruction Requests

About Library Instruction Sessions
  • The library instruction room is equipped with 36 computers that allow for hands-on and interactive sessions.
  • Library instruction sessions are more likely to be effective if they are tailored to an assignment. Librarians are available to collaborate with instructors in designing a research assignment. There is a research guide to help faculty create good research assignments.
  • The length of an instruction session can vary based on the type of content that is needed. A short general presentation on library services can be done in a few minutes, while a more in-depth library session based upon an assignment and Information Literacy concepts will require more time. A minimum of 50 to 60 minutes is needed for any session that goes beyond basic library services.
During the Session
  • Faculty are required to be present during the session or arrange for a faculty substitute. If a substitute cannot be found, the session will be rescheduled for another time.
  • Instructors should not leave their students unattended during the session or in the library classroom after the librarian's presentation.
  • Faculty are encouraged to actively participate with the librarian during the session.
General Library Classroom Guidelines
  • Application software may not be altered, added, or removed from the computer workstations. Online library / college supported software will be made available on the computer workstations. It is the responsibility of the instructor to be aware of and understand the equipment and software available in the Instruction Room.
  • The library is not responsible for personal belongings left in the room unattended.
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the room.
  • Classes will not be scheduled in the room on a regular, recurring basis.
  • Faculty may also reserve the library instruction classroom for use with their students without librarian instruction. Reservations for room-use can only be done less then one week in advance by contacting the library Reference Desk (517-483-1615) or the Instruction Coordinator.
  • Please notify the Reference Desk (517-483-1615) or the Checkout Desk (517-483-1626) if you are unable to keep your Room Use Reservation or Instruction Appointment.

TO DO: Review the Designing Effective Research Assignments Research Guide and the Faculty Research Guide- Library Instruction Pages

Process for Scheduling Library Instruction (For Faculty)

Faculty members are asked to submit their request a minimum of one week prior to the instruction date. Every effort will be made to fulfill an instruction request. Requests submitted with less than a week's notice will be honored only if instruction staff and library instruction space is available.

  1. Access the Faculty Research Guide Instruction page and locate the Instruction Request Form.
  2. Select the date and times for the session and complete the form.
  3. This is a mediated request, meaning that it has to be approved by the instruction coordinator before it is officially scheduled and on the calendar.
  4. Once the request is approved an automatic email is generated and sent to the requestor.
  5. One to two weeks prior to the date of the session, the requestor will get a reminder email with details about their session and the assigned instruction librarian.
  6. The assigned instruction librarian will contact the requestor to review and discuss the lesson plan for the session.

TO DO: Locate and review the instruction request form and the Faculty Research Guide Instruction pages on the library website. Be sure to note the different options available for instruction. Practice using the online scheduler and view the form, but don't submit the request. Review popular assignments and the videos and tutorials page in the guide.   

Scheduling Process

Incoming instruction requests are received by the Instructional Coordinator via e-mail. The goal is to schedule the sessions equitably among the Instruction Librarians.

The Instructional Coordinator Librarian will:

  • Approve the request and notify faculty via email that the request was approved.
  • Add the session information to the When to Work scheduling system. Hint: Use the Ref/ Instruction view to see both schedules simultaneously. 
  • Assign librarians to sessions. Often, the instruction coordinator will tentatively assign librarians to sessions weeks in advance on the When To Work calendar, but these are only tentative and used to help the coordinator ensure coverage. 
  • Each week librarians will receive an email with instruction assignments for the following week. Promptly respond by email to the coordinator to confirm your assigned sessions will work for your calendar.
  • About one week in advance, instructors and the assigned librarian will receive an e-mail confirming the date, time, and librarian assigned to their sessions.
  • Reach out to faculty via email and discuss the session and assignments.
  • The instruction coordinator and the librarian assigned to a session will share, as needed, information about the session.

TO DO: In the When to Work scheduling system find the default view to see both reference and instruction shifts at the same time.


Instruction Librarian Responsibilities: 

  • Review the instructor's request form and contact the instructor.
  • Develop a lesson plan, as well as learning and assessment activities, that are tied to learning outcomes and the student's assignment.
  • Develop or gather library handouts or publications that will help facilitate a successful learning experience for the students. The Instruction Sessions folder in the LCC Files is a repository for handouts and activities.
  • Share handouts, activities, PowerPoints, et cetera developed. Place these resources in the Instruction Sessions folder in the shared files.
  • Record the number of students served in the library instruction session on the LibCal Instruction calendar. 
  • Follow-up with instructor after the session with one minute paper responses and a thank you.
  • Use Best Practices in the development and delivery of library instruction.

TO DO:  Take a look at the instruction folder and view handouts and PowerPoints created by other librarians to get an idea of common activities and lesson plans. 

Library Tours

  • Faculty may request library tours for their classes. The tours are presented with a philosophy of teaching students about the library and the Learning Commons. 
  • Library tours usually take 30 - 60 minutes.
  • Generally, librarians are assigned to the tours just like other instruction sessions except in most cases there will be no instruction in the library instruction room. 
  • When conducting library tours, use the suggested Tour Talking Points in addition to any specifics requested by the instructor.
  • Requests for library tours can be made using the Library Instruction Request Form or referred to the Instruction Coordinator for scheduling.


  1. Review the Tour Talking Points handout in the files.
  2. Read the information about the Emerging Light suspended sculpture that hangs in the library atrium. The information is located on a wall plaque south-west of the Checkout Desk.
  3. Observe one or two library tours presented by fellow librarians.