Library Instruction

About Us

The Library Instruction Unit of the Reference Department offers library instruction sessions for the CSU community. Instruction sessions are provided for the following:

Undergraduate courses
Graduate courses
Library staff and faculty
Campus faculty and staff


Instruction Sessions for Courses

Library Instruction Lab Front ViewLibrary instruction sessions may be general in focus, covering the library catalogs and other library databases that would be appropriate for a broad range of academic subjects. Sessions may also be customized for a specific academic discipline or geared towards a particular course assignment.

Subject specific instruction sessions for students are offered and developed in collaboration with their course instructor. Library and other information resources are presented, demonstrated, and explained as needed.

Our library instruction programs improve the ability of students to make effective use of the library collections, services, and staff, and include instruction in the use of online electronic sources as well as traditional print formats.

The course instructor should provide the instruction librarian with specific topics relating to course needs and should have a follow-up activity for students that would allow them to apply what they learned during the library instruction session.

Professors must attend instruction sessions with the students to provide invaluable input during the session and to emphasize the importance and value of achieving basic research skills.


Scheduling Instruction

Library Instruction Lab Rear View Instruction sessions are provided Monday through Saturday, including weekday evenings. Please note all instruction sessions must be booked 2 weeks in advance, and the classroom is located in the library on the 2nd floor, room 210. The instruction schedule will be limited to 3 sessions per day on weekdays and 1 session on Saturdays.

The ideal time for an instruction session is 2 to 3 weeks before the related class assignment is due. The standard instruction session (also known as standard BI) is typically scheduled for 50 minutes. However, faculty may also request a double BI (two 50 minute sessions). In the case of a double BI, the first session will be a standard lecture/presentation; the second session will be devoted to hands-on activity. Faculty may schedule both sessions on the same day (back to back) or on two different days.

When requesting a library instruction session, faculty should provide the course name and number, department, the number of students enrolled, a contact telephone number and email address. Course faculty may plan the content of library sessions with the instruction librarian in person or by telephone. This should be done at least one week in advance for common library resources (e.g., books, journal articles, library databases, etc.), two weeks in advance for other types of resources and materials.

Faculty should submit their requests using the online instruction request system, located at:

Faculty will receive an immediate response via email that their request is under review by the library instruction coordinator. Meanwhile, the time they requested is reserved on the instruction calendar. Once an instruction request has been approved, confirmation will be sent via email. Faculty are advised to wait for that confirmation before notifying their students about the date of an instruction session in the library.

Questions regarding library instruction or the online request system should be directed to the Reference Department, located on the second floor of the library. We can be reached by phone at 773-995-2235. Please direct email related to library instruction to:

Course instructors who wish to conduct computer-assisted instruction in the library may reserve LIB 144 through the Center for Teaching and Research Excellence (CTRE) at 995-2960 (x2960). Since it is disruptive to library users, classes are not to be conducted in the Information Mall on the second floor or the public areas of the library.

Areas in the library designated for library instruction cannot be scheduled for non -library classes, meetings, conferences or seminars. Contact the CTRE to reserve LIB 352. Contact Dr. Omar Headen, Director of the Learning Assistance Center, at 995-2273(x2273) to reserve LIB 454.


  • Public Services
    Reference and Instruction
    • Charlene Snelling, Coordinator of Reference and Instruction.
    • 2nd Floor, University Library
    • 9501 South Martin Luther King Drive
      Chicago, IL 60628-1598
    • Telephone: 773-995-2235
    • General Reference Email:
    • Instruction Request Email: