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Manchester Campus Library

Manchester Information Literacy Instruction

Library Instruction Menu

The instruction menu below provides a sampling of our most requested and timely library instruction topics along with how much time is needed to cover each topic and the key objectives of each. All menu items can be customized to meet the specific needs of your course and desired student learning outcomes. This is not an exhaustive list. We are always happy to collaborate with faculty to learn about your courses, and to design new library instruction and resources.

Please use the Library Instruction Request Form to schedule instruction. Requests for library instruction should be placed at least two weeks in advance of the requested date of instruction. Contact Yoli Bergstrom-Lynch ( or 860-512-2874) if you have any questions.


Library scavenger hunt  60 minutes 
  • Students use an app called Padlet and work in teams to explore the physical spaces of the library and discover how to locate and use key services and resources. Takes the place of the shorter library tour.
  • Searching as strategic exploration 
Library tour  10-15 minutes 
  • Brief walkthrough of library to highlight key spaces, services, and resources 



Brainstorm research topics

15-20 minutes 
  • Brainstorming topics using select library databases (e.g., CQ Researcher, TopicSearch, Issues & Controversies) 

  • Narrowing or broadening topics to fit the scope of the research project  

  • Identifying keywords for searching 

  • Understanding research is iterative & topics/questions evolve                                                                                               

  • Research as inquiry 
  • Searching as strategic exploration 


Search library databases  30 minutes 
  • Basic and advanced search techniques in general or specialized library databases 

  • Keyword searching 

  • Refining results 

  • Finding full text 

  • Using database citation and email tools 

  • Searching as strategic exploration 

  • Research as inquiry 

Search the library catalog  15-20 minutes 
  • Finding books on a topic 

  • Requesting books through interlibrary loan and the library consortium  

  • Locating books in the library 

  • Understanding how to use books for research 

  • Searching as strategic exploration 

  • Authority is constructed and contextual 

Find data & statistics  10 minutes 
  • Introduction to finding data and statistics on a topic using library databases and online resources (e.g., Census data, CT Data Collaborative, Pew Research Center, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 
  • Searching as strategic exploration 
Citation chaining  15 minutes 
  • Students learn to use one good information source to locate other relevant sources 

  • Discover how new scholarship builds on existing scholarship

  • Scholarship as a conversation 

  • Searching as strategic exploration 


TOPIC             TIME REQUIRED POINTS COVERED                                                                                                     FRAMEWORK CONCEPTS
Distinguish between source types 10-15 minutes 
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources, popular and scholarly sources 

  • Identifying the types of sources needed for a research project 

  • Authority is constructed and contextual 

  • Information creation is a process 

  • Scholarship is a conversation 

Evaluate sources  50 minutes 
  • Evaluating the credibility and relevance of a variety of information sources 

  • Understanding the importance of context, information need, and audience in evaluating sources 

  • Authority is constructed and contextual 
Anatomy of Scholarly Articles  20 minutes 
  • Identifying the key parts of a scholarly article, their purpose, and uses in relation to student research questions 
  • Scholarship is a conversation 

  • Research as inquiry 


TOPIC TIME REQUIRED POINTS COVERED                                                                    FRAMEWORK CONCEPTS
Synthesizing sources for literature reviews  30 minutes 
  • Students learn to use a synthesis matrix to identify how sources relate or “speak” to each other 

  • Identifying consensus, debates, and gaps in existing literature 

  • Understanding the importance of literature reviews 

  • Scholarship as conversation 

  • Research as inquiry 

How to use sources when writing  10 minutes 
  • Students learn techniques for determining the potential value and purpose of a source in relation to their research questions 
  • Authority is constructed and contextual 

  • Information has value 


TOPIC TIME REQUIRED POINTS COVERED                                                                                                                                         FRAMEWORK CONCEPTS
Citing sources  

Option 1: 30 minutes 

Option 2: 10 minutes 

  • Option 1: Creating reference lists and in-text citations in required format (APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, etc.) 


  • Option 2: Students learn the common elements found in a citation regardless of documentation system. They will be able to determine the type of source (e.g., academic journal, newspaper, website) cited based on citation elements. 

  • Information has value 

  • Scholarship as conversation 

Using information ethically  20 minutes 
  • Understanding plagiarism and why citing sources matters 

  • Understanding when to cite and how to avoid plagiarism 

  • Information has value 

  • Scholarship as conversation 


TOPIC TIME REQUIRED  POINTS COVERED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FRAMEWORK CONCEPTS
Building Inclusive Bibliographies   20 minutes 
  • Students learn how citational practices are political and how power shapes which voices are amplified or erased in academic research 

  • Learn new strategies for finding and engaging historically marginalized voices 

  • Information has value 

  • Authority is constructed and contextual 

  • Scholarship as conversation 

Understanding copyright, fair use, & open licensing  50-60 minutes 
  • Students learn what types of works are protected by U.S. copyright law, the rights of copyright owners, and the limits of protection 

  • Students learn what types works or information are not copyright protected 

  • Students learn about Creative Commons licenses and how to apply a license to their artistic or intellectual work so that it may be freely used and adapted/remixed by others

  • Information has value 
Understanding paywalls & open access  10-15 minutes 
  • Students will recognize their position of information privilege as members of the college community with access to thousands of paid subscriptions 

  • Will understand the negative effects of paywalls on the advancement of scholarship, especially the work of scholars in the Global South 

  • Students will learn about open access publishing as a means to advance scholarship and information equity. They will learn how to identify open access titles in Manchester’s library catalog 

  • Information has value 

  • Searching as strategic exploration