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Services for Faculty: Research and Instruction

How to Schedule Library Instruction

Use this online instruction request form to schedule a library instruction session with the Research and Instruction department. Alternatively, contact the Research and Instruction department by phone at 303-458-4031 (800-388-2366 ext. 4031) or by email at

Why Library Instruction?

Library instruction strives to help students and other groups become independent users of libraries and informed consumers of information in multiple formats. Learners will understand how relevant sources are organized, how to access them, the importance of critical evaluation, and how to refine research strategies. This addresses curricular information needs and promotes lifelong learning.

Most college students are unfamiliar with the research strategies and information access tools that we have come to take for granted. These students are often overwhelmed by the size and complexity of academic library systems, and, as a result, they suffer from "library anxiety." Too often, they rely solely on the methods and sources they may have used earlier in other libraries, but are not appropriate at the college level. If you are planning any assignment that requires your student to locate, evaluate and use information not provided in their textbooks, then your students will benefit from library instruction.

Learn more about the library's instructional goals and objectives in the handout linked below:

How to Design a Successful Library Assignment

Course-related library assignments are the most effective way to introduce students to library research. The following guidelines can help you design a successful assignment that will result in a positive learning experience for your students.

  • Assume minimal library knowledge.
    Some students can find a book by title or author, but few are familiar with the concept of controlled vocabulary that is basic to the subject indexing structure of research databases.
  • Incorporate research strategy where appropriate.
    Break the process down into incremental steps, with a clear goal for each step.
    Consult with a Research & Instruction librarian in advance for suggestions about library resources available to support the assignment.
  • Make sure the resources needed to complete the assignment are available in the library.
    New faculty often assume all libraries own the same materials. Limited funding precludes this. 
    A book you used last year may be "missing" this year. Allow several weeks' lead time for ordering new books.
  • Recognize the dangers in assigning a whole class to use one resource.
    Competition for few materials can inspire creative, though non-cooperative, behavior.
    Copying and/or distribution of copyrighted works should be done after completion of a fair use assessment using a secure system available only to the intended audience (i.e. Worldclass).
    Please alert librarians to upcoming assignments and information needs.
  • Avoid obscure, factual questions in a library assignment.
    Poorly developed "scavenger hunt" exercises teach very little about the research process.
    Such assignments are frustrating to students and serve to increase their library anxiety.
    Assignments should reflect the cyclical and iterative nature of academic research.


Types of Library Instruction

First Year Experience All sections of RCC200 are targeted by the library for collaboration. We recommend an approach that uses multiple library sessions over the course of the semester to allow for scaffolded instruction that starts with learning the basics of the Regis Library system and progresses to more advanced research and information literacy topics.

Other introductory classes: Whether it's an undergraduate cornerstone course or an initial graduate-level research class, students receive a comprehensive overview of library services and resources.

Course-related instruction: Students discover specialized resources for the course's subject, learn how to develop research strategies appropriate to the topic and their course level, and explore how to evaluate sources.

Archival presentations: Students view materials from the university's Archives and Special Collections and learn about the importance of research using primary source materials.

Individual research consultations: Research librarians advise students, staff, or faculty on research projects. Contact the Research Help service for a referral, or contact the appropriate subject librarian.