Part 3 - Comprehensive Standards

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)

Partial Compliance


It is the mission of Earl K. Long Library to be “an essential partner in the learning, research, and service mission of the University”.  In being an essential partner, the library regularly provides a wide range of instructional services that are accessible to students, staff, and faculty in person and on the Web throughout the year. The services provided are addressed in both formal and informal settings to ensure that the Library best meets the needs of the campus and the community at large.

One-on-One Instruction and Individual Learner Support

Individual learner support in the use of library resources and services is available via our Reference Services, either in-person, by phone, via email, online chat, or Twitter.  The Library’s Reference Desk in the Learning Commons is fully staffed approximately 80 hours a week during regular library hours, by either a Reference Librarian or staff or a specially trained Reference Student Assistant.  Additionally, during the hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm, an On Call Librarian is available if supplemental or more extensive assistance is needed.  If more detailed or specialized assistance is needed, librarians are available by appointment for subject research consultations.

Assistance for students and faculty includes help with technology questions, as a complementary service to that provided by the University Computing’s Help Desk.  Reference transactions are tracked by type of assistance, mode of request, time of day, day, and semester in order to determine the types of needs and the optimal scheduling of staff.  For 2013-2014, the Reference Desk responded to 5,755 requests from library users, as shown in the attached table.

Online resources are available to users to complement the in-person services provided. There are a number of research guides available online which highlight library databases, websites and other informational tools. Research guides have been designed to meet the needs of college programs and include a variety of subjects and disciplines. Handouts have also been provided to be used as a quick reference and are accessible in print and electronically for library users. The guides also provide support for specific courses that may require a library instruction session.

Formal Classroom Instruction

Formal classroom instruction is offered through the Library Instruction Program, which is coordinated by the Instruction Librarian.  The classroom instruction sessions are designed to provide students with the information literacy skills necessary to achieve academic success, and are developed in collaboration with faculty.  Faculty can find information about instruction services on the Library’s website and can request a library instruction session online, as well as by other means.

The goal of the Library’s information literacy instruction is to teach students to think critically about information and information resources so that students can recognize the need for information, locate information using a variety of media and technologies and can evaluate and use it effectively. Library instruction sessions are available for program disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate level, and all of the liaison librarians participate in providing instruction.  Course instructors are able to coordinate with the appropriate librarian to develop a session which best meets the needs of the course or course assignment. Library instruction sessions can be taught in either of the Library’s two instructional spaces or in the course instructor’s classroom. The position of Instruction Librarian was vacant from 2009 until early 2012, and the number of library instruction sessions and the number of students participating has continued to increase since the hiring of the new Instruction Librarian in February 2012, as indicated in Table 1 below. 

Table 1:  Library Instruction Statistics

Year 2013-2014 2012-2013 2011-2012 2010-2011 2009-2010 2008-2009
# sessions 85 63 55 47 59 95
# students 1,530 1,152 1,052 892 988 1,647


Instructional Spaces

The library has two electronic classrooms available for library instruction (Rooms 212 and 318). Room 212 has 32 laptops and an instructor station and room 318 has 21 computers. All classroom computers are connected to the campus network/internet. For larger classes (40 or more students), room 407 can be used to provide presentations to classes. Librarians can also go to the course classroom or another computer lab on campus to present an instructional session.  Room 318 is also used for training sessions for Library faculty, staff and student workers and can be reserved by faculty and staff for instruction and training.  Additional details on library learning spaces can be found in the narrative for Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1.

Instruction Services for Distance Education Students

Distance education students have access to a variety of instruction services in the use of the library and other learning resources. The Distance Education page on the Library website outlines the resources and services that are available.  While the Interlibrary Loan Librarian is the designated contact for Distance Education students and faculty, all librarians and staff are involved in providing assistance. Individual instruction is available by email, phone, or online chat.  Links are provided so that students can contact the liaison librarian in their subject area for specialized assistance. Students can access the subject LibGuides 24/7 on the Library website and faculty can arrange for librarians to present instruction for the class or make library materials available through the Moodle course module. 

Collaborative Efforts and Instructional Initiatives

In an effort to support the various instructional needs on campus, librarians have worked with numerous campus departments to provide specialized areas of instruction. To address the needs of recruitment and retention of freshman students, the Instruction Librarian has worked with the Director of the Freshman Writing Program to create library instruction sessions that are in alignment with the learning outcomes of the program.  The Freshman Writing Program includes three courses: English 1157, English 1158, and English 1159.  Library instruction sessions are provided for ENGL 1157 and 1158 to promote information literacy skills. For Fall 2013, of the 16 sections taught (351 students), twelve sections (258 students) completed the library instruction module.

The Instruction Librarian has also worked to support the efforts of the First Year Experience Program to inform freshman students of the library services and resources available. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the Instruction Librarian worked with the Directors of the University Success course (required of all first-year students) to develop a library instruction session which included resources and supplemental materials for faculty and students. Additionally, for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years, the Instruction Librarian has worked with the First Year Experience Program to be a point of library outreach at many FYE sponsored events.

For the 2013-2014 academic year, the Instruction Librarian worked with Orientation Services and the Athletic Academic Director to provide orientation outreach and informal instruction to Student Orientation Leaders and student athletes for the fall semester. Librarians also worked to create a workshop series to enhance information and digital literacy skills as part of the Privateer Plunge series for first-year students.

At the graduate level, in addition to the library instruction sessions in the disciplines offered by the liaison librarians, the Scholarly Communications Librarian works with the Graduate School to provide instruction and assistance to graduate students regarding thesis and dissertation publication. In the fall 2013 semester the Library collaborated with the Graduate School to offer presentations to 132 students in graduate classes/orientations on a range of scholarly communication issues, including thesis and dissertation submission, copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons licensing.  Programs visited were Film, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Psychology, Financial Economics, English, History, Educational Administration, and Urban Studies.  We are planning to continue working with the Graduate School to expand and improve these presentations, and to offer open workshops on these topics. 

As part of Open Access Week (October, 2013), the Library and the Graduate School partnered to present “Open Access and ETDs:  Exploring the Issues.” This event was attended by 27 graduate students and two faculty.  The Scholarly Communications Librarian created a slideshow presentation (given with Assistant Dean of the Graduate School), which was followed by a panel discussion with a Creative Writing faculty member and a recent Chemistry PhD graduate.     

Instruction Assessment

Assessment of classroom library instruction is conducted for the Freshman Writing Program and for subject-specific sessions in the majors.  For the 2013 fall semester, a sample of sessions of ENGL 1157 and 1158 were assessed to determine knowledge of session content and quality of instruction. For spring 2014 semester all library instruction sessions at the undergraduate and graduate level were assessed to determine prior exposure to library instruction, quality of instruction and student’s confidence level after completing the instruction session.  The Library Instruction Assessment Report provides a more detailed description of the assessment methods that were used for the 2013-2014 year. 

For Spring Semester 2014, the Instruction Librarian revised the current assessment form and requested that all sections of library instruction utilize the form.  The assessment was completed in 31 of the 33 instruction sessions, with a total of 575 students.   Results were overwhelmingly positive, as shown by the responses in Table 2:

Table 2  Library Instruction Session Assessment Spring 2014

Question Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree
1. This instruction session will help me complete my course assignment. 65% 29% 6% 0% 0%
2. After this class, I feel more confident about using the Library. 61% 30% 9% 0% 0%
3. The librarian's presentation was clear and effective. 75% 18% 7% 0% 0%


A major goal for the Instruction Program for the coming year is for the Instruction Librarian to work with the liaison librarians to review and revise the learning outcomes for the key research or foundational course in their disciplinary departments and then to design an assessment which will be modified for the specific learning outcomes for that discipline, in collaboration with faculty.

The Earl K. Long Library provides a range of instructional services and resources through a variety of physical and virtual delivery mechanisms.  Instruction in the use of library and information resources is offered for individual library users and through formal information literacy instruction in the classroom and is revised and improved based on assessment and user needs.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconLibguide_Fresh_WritingFreshman Writing Program LibGuide
Document IconLibguide_Univ_SuccessUniversity Success LibGuide
Document IconLibguides_Subj_Res_GuidesLibGuides – Subject Research Guides
Document IconLibrary_Ask_A_Library_WebpageUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Ask a Librarian Website
Document IconLibrary_HandoutsLibrary Handouts
Document IconLibrary_InstructionLibrary Instruction
Document IconLibrary_Instruction_Assessment_Report_ 2013-14Library Instruction Assessment Report
Document IconLibrary_Instruction_Student_SurveyLibrary Instruction Student Survey
Document IconLibrary_MissionMission of the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library
Document IconRes_Consult_ServResearch Consultation Service
Document IconUNO_Library_Distance_Education_servicesUniversity of New Orleans Library Services for Distance Education
Document IconUNO_Library_Reference_Asst_SumLibrary Reference Assistance Summary