For Faculty: Scheduling Library Sessions

This page offers information for faculty at SUNY Adirondack and the SUNY Plattsburgh Branch Campus.

Types of Library Sessions

  • For ENG101/ENG100: These introduce the research process and basic database research strategies. 
  • For subject-oriented classes (sciences, business, humanities, etc.): Sessions are customized to research assignments, and can focus on selected specific concepts: finding scholarly journals, for instance.
  • For HRD classes: see Scheduling HRD Classes tab above.

Library Instruction Services

Librarians will do whatever is possible to help your students with their research projects. Options include:

  • Asynchronous instruction: we can customize library research guides for your class's assignment.
  • Synchronous instruction: we can do a live Zoom session with your class.
  • We also offer individual research assistance to your students, using email, phone, Zoom, Collaborate or other communication means. 
  • Email the librarian account ( as you plan your courses to discuss options. Details are below.

Scheduling Library Instruction Sessions

To schedule library instruction, email the librarian account (

Asynchronous Sessions

  • Librarians can create customized research guides for your assignments that you can post in Blackboard.
  • Email the librarian account ( weeks before the assignment is due, with a timeline for the guide to be completed, a copy of the research assignment, possible research topics, and your learning objectives for the session. 
  • A librarian will develop a research guide for your class and consult with you as needed.

Synchronous Sessions

  • Librarians can conduct a research session in person in the 14-computer library classroom, or online through Zoom. 
    • A Zoom session works really well with library instruction sessions. The session uses Zoom, Zoom's chat, the library's webpage, and require database searching by the students. Students can use their own computers to log in, save results and post chat responses. Especially for larger classes that may not safely or comfortably fit in the 14-computer library classroom, this is an excellent option.
  • Email the librarian account ( to arrange the session. Have several possible dates available. Popular slots fill up quickly. The sooner you contact the library, the more likely you will get your first choice of times.
    • Schedule classes from months up to no less than two weeks in advance to allow enough time for proper preparation and adjustments to librarians' work and life schedules. Sessions are taught by a variety of SUNY Adirondack librarians, depending on their subject expertise, availability, work schedules, the class schedule for the day, the time of day and faculty requests. Some librarians work part-time and have limited availability.
  • Before the session, please prepare students:
    • Students must understand the assignment and have research topics for the hands-on time to be useful.
    • Provide their topics to the librarian at least a week in advance so the librarian has sufficient time to prepare material, select databases, update the class research guide and create searches to demonstrate.
    • The effectiveness of hands-on time may depend on students' internet connections. 
  • Discuss your learning priorities for your research assignment with the librarian leading the session. We can realistically and effectively teach students a certain number of major research concepts in one class session.
  • You may schedule more than one session.
  • Zoom sessions can be recorded for later viewing with students' permissions. 
  • Classes may be taught by a variety of SUNY Adirondack librarians, depending on their subject expertise, availability, work schedules, the class schedule for the day, the time of day and faculty requests. 

Before and During Your Session

At least a week before your scheduled session:
Review the assignment with your students before the library session, and provide these to the librarian scheduled to lead your session. 

  • your research assignment (no exceptions: we need a current copy of exactly what you give the students) and
  • a list of the students’ subjects. Students should know their research topics, or have a very good idea of the type of information they’ll need.

In class the week before the session: 

  • Ask students to go directly to the library for the session, by the normal start time for your class. They should gather near the circulation desk, on the library's main floor. 

During the session:

- We start on time.  Plan to start promptly at the normal class time, to respect those who are show up on time, whether it's a Zoom or in-person class. For an in-person class, bring the class to the circulation desk to meet the librarian.

-  The instructor is an active participant in the class, answering questions, clarifying assignment questions and topics, and assisting students during the practice periods in class. Students see you as a role model. Please do not correct papers, use your phone, read, chat while the librarian is talking, or occupy a classroom computer to do your own personal research.

- Remind students to take notes. They should bring their assignment, topics, and note-taking material to class.

- Thwart discipline problems in class. Inappropriate classroom behavior includes any actions decreasing the librarian’s ability to teach effectively or preventing other students from learning. This includes those who talk, text or use a computer when the librarian is teaching or otherwise creating learning distractions.

- Learn along with students about the always-changing resources for your discipline, for your own use as well as to help students and create the best assignments.

- Grade students on their participation and actions during this session. When it’s tied to a grade, students pay stricter attention, interact more readily, and learn more.

- Learning to research involves practice. Remind students that they probably don't "already know all this" because they visited the library before.

  • Sessions are customized for the research needs of the specific class and assignment.
  • New subject-specific resources are introduced in each class.
  • Just as one does not become a good writer after writing once, or a great baseball player after playing once, a violin virtuoso after practicing once ... one cannot be a good researcher after researching a paper once, especially in a different topic. It is a skill that is constantly improved with experience.

These guidelines have been developed by the instruction librarian as a result of 30 years of commonly-seen classroom behaviors. Your students' research efforts will be more successful as a result, and you’ll enjoy their papers more! 

Your Research Assignments

We strongly recommend trying to complete your own research assignment before giving it to students. To develop or review an assignment for accuracy and feasibility, email the librarian account (

Information Literacy at SUNY Adirondack

SUNY Adirondack Library’s library instruction program teaches information skills to faculty, students and staff. The concept is more broadly known as information literacy. It is defined as:     
      - knowing when information is needed,
     - knowing how to find information,
     - evaluating the information using critical thinking skills,
     - using the information appropriately in an ethical and legal manner, and
     - communicating the information effectively in various formats.

The U.S. Department of Labor, SUNY, college re-accreditation organizations such as Middle States and other key agencies state that strong information literacy skills are increasingly required for success in education, careers and life. The ability to find and use information well, to solve everyday problems and educate oneself, is an invaluable life-long skill. 

By collaborating with librarians, faculty can ensure that students will be better prepared for the future in a rapidly changing, information-driven world.

Library Research Methods: LIB187 Course

This one-credit course further develops college-level research skills. It is offered in the spring semester, taught by a SUNY Adirondack librarian.