The Fuuutuuure (of Library Instruction)

Planning for the Fall semester is ramping up, and the Bell Library Instruction Program is getting into gear for a semester unlike any other. To keep our students, faculty, and librarians safe and healthy, our classes might look a little different in the coming year.

Here are some ideas for how we plan to continue providing quality information literacy instruction while practicing social distancing:

Labs Schlabs:

Although we generally prefer to do most of our instruction inside the library’s two computer labs, we know that’s going to be real tricky in the Fall. Our first-floor lab is pretty small and we’re not confident we could fit more that a few students in there while maintaining social distancing. Our second-floor lab, while bigger, still presents a few challenges. How do we control flow in and out of the room? How will we clean the used computer stations? And how often? How long will it take to make sure students sit so that they are properly distanced? In a 50-minute instruction session, we want to fill our time with information literacy, not with seating arrangements!

So with all of these thoughts bouncing around, we think we’ll just bring the instruction to you! Since most classrooms are equipped with a monitor and computer, we might just swing by your usual classroom to delivery library instruction. It might look a little different, but this will give us a chance to try out some new ways of teaching and learning!



With the internet, all things are possible.

If you’re in an online class, or even if you’re in a face-to-face class, we’d be happy to join you virtually! We can set up a Webex meeting with you so that you can just display our enormous floating heads right in the comfort of your own classroom. With screensharing, we can still demonstrate all sorts of resources and research skills your students might find useful.


Digital Learning Objects:

If you don’t feel like you’re able to dedicate a class period to a library session, that’s fine! (Kind of. It hurts our feelings but like, we get it. It’s fine.) We’re happy to work with you to build a tool, like a Course Guide, a digital worksheet, or tutorial videos to get your students the information they need to be successful researchers.

Reach out to your friendly neighborhood librarian (specifically one at Bell Library) and we’ll work with you to create something that is engaging and informative.


Finally, we can combine any of these efforts! A tutorial PLUS an in-class visit? Heck yeah. A Webex session that utilized a course guide just for your students? Slam dunk. Our goal is to find what works best for you and your students. So give us a call and let’s see what we can create!

Emily Metcalf

Instructional Services Librarian

Meme Lord

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