Library instruction (also called Bibliographic instruction) is the process of teaching users how to find information in the library and on the Web. It is closely allied to the field of information literacy.
Instructional services provided by an instruction librarian to a group of users designed to teach them how to locate the information they need quickly and effectively. Library instruction usually covers the library's system of organization, the structure of the literature of the field or topic, research methodology appropriate to the discipline, and increasingly involves hands-on practice using computerized search tools. Synonymous with bibliographic instruction or BI. Compare with user education. Library instruction is important, particularly at the college level, as students become familar with the research process. Analyzing the credibility of sources and resources is an important cognitive skill (Jackson 2007, 30).
Library instruction can be provided in different formats, usually face-to-face or online. Many academic libraries have developed online courses, similar to pathfinders, which teach students to navigate databases (Tenopir, 2002).
Librarians should remember the following when designing or conducting library instruction courses: Students may be a different levels of cognitive development,this may be their first experience with bibliographic instruction, even if students are familar with the web, they may not understand the nuances of key-word search or advanced search options. Students may believe that the first hits on a results list are the best and may not be able to analze complex ideas in order to determine the credibility of a source (Jackson 2007, 28-32).
Jackson,Rebecca. 2007. Cognitive Development the missing link in teaching information literacy skills. Reference and User Services Quarterly. 46, no.4: 28-32.
Tenopir, Carol. 2002. The age of online instruction. Library Jourmal. online.