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Library Instruction and Statistics: Sample Lesson Plans

Instruction resources for library staff.

Make this your own

This is a simplified outline for a basic library instruction session that you might use for an ENC 1102 class.  Feel free to use this as a guide for creating your own specific outline.  Remember to discuss the plans for the session with the course instructor.  He or she may have very specific ideas for what you should go over in the library, and may even be able to give you examples of students' research topics.

Most of all, have fun!  Remember, this may be a student's very first time learning about the library :o)


For general library instruction:


  1. intro yourself
  2. intro the library where you are
  3. intro the library system at UF
  4. feel free to promote services such as RefWorks workshops and the assignment calculator (found on Library West's homepage)

Getting to know the library

  1. start here:
  2. run down the basics: off-campus access, subject guides & specialists, ask-a-librarian...
  3. the catalog search box: find books by title, author, and subject using advanced search
  4. demo a few searches (which you have practiced) for different items such as DVDs, periodicals, encyclopedias...
  5. point out good stuff like texting a call number, location holdings, availability, adding items to a folder, "cite this," subject help in the left margin (for narrowing down topic ideas)....

Research using databases

  1. start from Project Starters
  2. discuss the difference between scholarly and popular materials
  3. demo a few searches for different topics (which you have practiced) using ASP, OmniFile, or any other Project Starters database
  4. point out good stuff like pdf/html full text options, Find it @ UF, adding items to a folder, built-in subject thesauri or descriptor help (for narrowing down topic ideas), emailing citations/full text, and built-in citation help

*Encourage questions along the way

*Save time for the students to perform research on their own at the end of class

*Emphasize the many ways students can seek help, and how they should NEVER hesitate to contact you or their subject specialist:

  • emailing you
  • emailing a subject specialist
  • hopping on Ask-A-Librarian
  • visiting a research assistance desk
  • watching how-to videos on YouTube
  • using the resources in the assignment caluculator

Lesson Plans You Can Use

Here's an outline for the General Library Orientation:

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