Library Instruction

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Morris Library offers course-related instruction, and online materials designed to teach students about information access, evaluation, and use.

Continue reading to learn more about the types of instruction we offer or, if you are ready to request library instruction now, fill out our Library Instruction Request Form.

Schedule a custom library instruction session

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Would you like to request a librarian to give a 50 minute guest lecture to your class? Morris Librarians offer information literacy instruction tailored to meet the needs of your students. Below are the best practices we ask you to follow in order to facilitate the most effective learning experience.

Send us a copy of your assignment.

Providing a copy of your assignment will help us tailor our session to your expectations and the needs of your students.

Choose a student learning outcome.

Students don't retain information if they are made to drink from the fire hose, which is why we have a limit of 2 outcomes for each library instruction session. Additional outcomes require additional instruction sessions, which we are happy to provide if you are interested. We prefer outcomes that are simple and to the point. Here are two examples:

  • Students will find at least 3 scholarly articles by the end of library instruction (concrete).
  • Students will be able to describe the peer review process (conceptual).

Provide us with a list of your students' topics.

If you would like you students to learn about using library resources or searching library databases, you will need to submit a list of your students' topics along with your instruction request. Students gain the most benefit from library instruction when they are familiar with the details of their assignment and have their research topics prior to the day of instruction.

Submitting a list of topics is optional if you would only like instruction on information literacy concepts. Examples of conceptual instruction topics include academic integrity, citation, copyright, and source evaluation.

Schedule library instruction at least 7 business days in advance.

Schedule your class using the Library Instruction Request Form. You will receive a confirmation or cancellation email within 2 business days of your request. For example, if you submit a request on a Thursday at 3:00, we'll get back to you before the end of the day on the following Monday.

Work with your library instructor.

Research shows that the best sessions are the ones we create in collaboration with you. You will hear from your library instructor once they are assigned to you. In the days leading up to your session, your library instructor might reach out to you with additional questions, lesson plan ideas, or just to introduce themselves.

Attend the library instruction session.

Your active participation is crucial to the success of your library instruction session. Students are more engaged when their teachers are present and questions about their assignment might arise that only you can answer. If you are unable to be present the day of your scheduled library instruction, your session will be cancelled.

Help us improve.

A brief, unobtrusive assessment element will be included in your session. The assessment will vary depending on the session and will be used for programmatic improvement. For example, at the end of the session your students might be asked to complete a four question online survey, or write for 1 minute in response to a prompt.

Free online tutorials and activities

In an effort to support information literacy instruction on campus we have freely available online instructional materials that you can embed in SIU Online or assign to your students. Check out our Information Literacy page for videos, lessons, and activities organized by topic.

We also have discipline-specific research guides curated by librarians. These guides provide guidance for specific courses and lists of recommended lists of databases, books, and other sources.

Do you have a topic that you would like a video for? Would you like a librarian to create a research guide or activity for your course? Contact Joshua Vossler, our Head of Reference & Instruction, at to create custom materials for your course.

Consultations for Instructors to teach Information Literacy

Would you like a librarian to help prepare you to teach your students library skills on your own, rather than having one visit your class? Our librarians can help you design meaningful research assignments and lessons that include information literacy knowledge practices and dispositions while advancing your course goals. Contact Joshua Vossler, Head of Reference & Instruction, at to engage a research librarian in curriculum design.

Credit-Bearing Courses

Morris Library teaches credit-bearing courses on information literacy topics. Below is a list of the courses we currently teach, but we are always open to new collaborations! Please contact Joshua Vossler, Head of Reference & Instruction, at if you would be interested in developing and/or teaching a credit-bearing research course with one of our faculty librarians.

CI 199: Introduction to College Research

CI 199 is an 8 week, one credit course offered online and in-person at Morris Library. This course will prepare you to find, evaluate, and use information efficiently using library resources. All are welcome but content is more relevant to freshmen or sophomores.

Additional Information:

  • Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer
  • Face-to-face, online, and hybrid
  • See an example syllabus (PDF format) for more information on content, readings, and assignments.

CI 411: Research after College

CI 411 is an 8 week, one credit, online course. This course acquaints students with concepts related to information literacy, such as how the questions we ask can affect the answers we receive, how cognitive biases distort our interpretation of evidence, and how misinformation can be fought. Weekly course work consists of readings, quizzes, and writing assignments. This is an upper-division course and critical analysis of materials and resources will be strongly emphasized. Note to graduate students: while you are welcome to enroll, CI-411 is ONLY offered for undergraduate credit.

Additional Information:

  • Offered Fall & Spring
  • Online only.
  • See an example syllabus (PDF format) for more information on content, readings, and assignments.

MCMA 200: Media and Information Literacy

MCMA 200 is a 3 credit, online course taught by the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts and College of Library Affairs. Media and information literacy are necessary components of being able to understand, function in, contribute to, and change the world we live in - a world that is often described as both networked and media-saturated. Throughout the course, students will be actively engaged by the instructors to think and write critically about information and media in order to resist the corporate environment in which we all are hoped, assumed, and constructed to be passive consumers. This course will tip the balance in students' favor, empowering active learners who will become global producers of media and information.

Additional Information:

  • Meets the Area 2 Social Science UCC requirement
  • Offered Fall & Spring
  • Online only
  • See an example syllabus (PDF format) for more information on content, readings, and assignments.


We offer drop-in workshops for graduate students each semester. Past workshops have included APA citation, 3D printing, and determining your scholarly impact. The topics vary each semester according to demand. Check out the current workshop schedule and reserve your spot at

To request a workshop, please email Jennifer Horton at

College Research Preparation for High School Students

Are you a high school teacher interested in partnering with the library to prepare students for college-level research? Contact Joshua Vossler, Head of Reference & Instruction, at to discuss instruction options. We would be happy to speak with you about organizing librarian-led workshop at your school, hosting a student research day at Morris Library, or developing other collaborations that would benefit your students. Our librarians have expertise in a variety of subject areas—science, psychology, nursing, and literature to name a few—and we're happy to work with any department!

For example, Morris Library and Cobden High School have partnered to offer college-level information literacy instruction to the junior and senior English composition classes. The goal of this partnership is to prepare college bound high school juniors and seniors to succeed in first- and second-year college research projects. Librarians visit Cobden High School to teach and assess four collaboratively-designed lessons, after which students visit Morris Library to consult with subject librarians for their research projects, which require more than thirty reliable sources. Additionally, the junior English composition program visits Morris Library once each semester for a college research workshop. We use a variety of assessment methods to evaluate our impact and inform future revisions. Check out the difference our partnership has had after just one academic year!

Pie charts comparing types of citations in student papers before and after instruction with Morris Library librarians. For a text equivalent, please contact