Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2


The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources. (Instruction of Library Use)






The goal of Vernon College library staff is to help each library user become knowledgeable, comfortable, and independent in accessing information through contemporary library technology as well as through basic resources. Access to instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources is provided through class/group instruction, through one-on-one assistance, and through Web links to online instructional tutorials.


Group Instruction


The Library System offers customized, course specific library instruction designed to assist students in becoming information literate with the skills to confidently and efficiently use library resources and information sources. Instructors may contact the library staff to schedule class presentations demonstrating database search strategies/techniques, remote research options, and informational services supporting student research. Faculty are made aware of this service by means of the Faculty & Staff Summary of Library Services link which is posted on the Library Homepage.


The Library System is currently working to improve library instruction by collecting student evaluations of instruction following each classroom presentation. Based on a 5-point Likert scale, the evaluation includes four questions which measure student perceptions of instructional quality as well as attitudinal changes and confidence levels in conducting library research. The evaluation tool also includes space for additional research questions or comments. The data will prove invaluable in improving presentation techniques and instructional strategies to facilitate learning and to clarify concepts.


One-on-One Instruction


The Vernon College Library System instructional program also includes walk in orientations scheduled throughout the year. Students are invited to attend on a voluntary basis with no registration required. The orientations are designed to offer individualized research assistance and strategies for locating information via print and electronic resources. Students also receive information on how to access distance learning library services including remote research options, online access to library tutorials, and real time assistance via the chat reference program. Students are made aware of this service by means of informational materials mailed to all new students at the start of each semester.


Instruction through Web Links


Online instructional tutorials are available to all library users through the “Research Assistance” link prominently displayed on the Library Homepage. There are two tutorials available at the present time. The database search assistance tutorial, designed to meet objectives of the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, guides users in the utilization of databases. The tutorial includes instructions for accessing databases from locations off campus, formulating search terms, focusing a search, and viewing, citing, printing, and emailing articles. The library catalog tutorial assists users in devising successful author, title, and subject searches of the catalog and provides a brief explanation of the arrangement of the Library System’s book collections by means of the Library of Congress classification system.


Other Learning/Information Resources


Library staff are preparing research guides that draw attention to resources in particular subject areas. The guides list pertinent reference books, databases, print journals, and websites. Also included are basic instructions in the use of e-books, databases, and the library catalog. The guides provide a brief overview of the research process as well as library contact information. As the guides are developed, they will also be posted online via the Research Assistance link on the homepage.


Assessment of Library Instruction


An analysis of surveys measuring users’ perceptions of library services indicates that library users are satisfied with the availability and quality of library instruction.


·         In surveys conducted during the 2006-2007 school year, 76% of students in online classes agreed that instruction for using library resources was made available to them. For on-site students, 93% of respondents indicated that they received information on how to access library resources and services.


·         Of those faculty who scheduled a library presentation, 100% agreed that the information was helpful and relevant in supporting their assignments.


·         In student evaluations of instructional sessions presented from summer 2005 through spring 2007, 87% of respondents indicated that they felt more confident doing library research as a result of the instruction; 96% felt that the librarian encouraged and responded to questions from the class and was well prepared and organized; 92% believed the librarian was familiar with sources appropriate to the assignment.




1.    Student Survey of Library Services

2.    Faculty Survey of Library Services

3.    Library Survey of Internet Students

4.    Faculty & Staff Summary of Library Services

5.    Database Search Assistance Tutorial

6.    Library Catalog Tutorial