3.8.2 Instruction of Library Use

Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2: Instruction of Library Use

The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.

Compliance Partial Compliance Non-compliance


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of Cook Library, USF Libraries, and all learning/information resources. Faculty and students in Sarasota and North Port and at a distance have opportunities for on-line and face-to-face instruction in the access, retrieval, selection, and evaluation of library resources for research and completion of curricular objectives by the full-time Faculty Coordinator of Library Services/Assistant Librarian, the Library Specialist, and other staff in the Information Commons. Students in the hosted Hospitality program in Tampa have access locally to librarians and learning support resources at the USF Library in Tampa. In addition, students and faculty receive assistance from librarians employed by New College of Florida (NCF) when physically in the Cook Library (NCF Librarians Webpage).

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Librarian collaborates with faculty in support of courses for undergraduate and graduate students. The Librarian works with students and faculty in all programs and disciplines and provides them with information about library policies and procedures, copyright, library services and instruction, research consultations, and collection development. The primary mechanisms for instruction include the following: (1) orientations, (2) in-class instruction, (3) individual appointments with library staff members, including in-person and virtually, and (4) online learning modules.

Both the Librarian and the Library Specialist participate in new student and new faculty orientations. They provide an overview of library services and resources in addition to an overview of services at the Information Commons.

The Librarian delivers in-class instruction providing students with the opportunity for hands-on work. For students taking online courses or enrolled in courses at the North Port instructional site, the librarian provides synchronous online instruction using Skype, Elluminate, or Google Hangouts. The Librarian assesses library instructional sessions through formative assessment during the session and a qualitative assessment given at the end of each instruction session. The USF Sarasota-Manatee Librarian conducted 32 instruction sessions for the 2013-14 academic year and answered over 200 research questions from students.

The Librarian and the Library Specialist are available for faculty and students to make appointments with them in-person and online through the Librarian Support Webpage. The page contains forms that faculty and students can complete to request Research Help or Library Instruction. Alternatively, they can make appointments and class meetings by telephone or e-mail.

A number of online learning resources assist faculty and students in learning about research availability and other information about library resources. The Librarian implemented LibGuides (Articles Database, Best Bets, Books, Reference Materials) and created LibGuide Subject Guides for each undergraduate program offered at USF Sarasota-Manatee (Degree Inventory). During the upcoming academic year the librarian will create screencast/video tutorials that will be embedded into a LibGuide focusing on student research skills. In the meantime, students can access the Research 101 Tutorials from the USF Libraries website.

Information Commons Workshops provide students with many how-to sessions. The Information Commons also has group study space, library services, and technology assistance. In 2013-14 E-Learning developed a LIbGuide module for distance learners that is specific to USF Sarasota-Manatee and embedded in Canvas (USF Sarasota-Manatee’s course management system) on how to connect from off-campus. Information Commons staff members take a head count seven (7) times a day in the area to assist in determining the days and time of day of greatest use for the area. It helps to ensure the area is adequately staffed. The Academic Resource Desk provides directions to classrooms, departments, or events, answers technology questions, and refers students or faculty to a librarian for research support. In addition the Academic Resource Desk loans technology equipment to students and faculty.  At this time the desk loans laptops, voice recorders, headsets, global presenters (clickers), video cameras, and graphing calculators. Students and faculty can request materials from another USF Library through Interlibrary Loan.

Below are statistics on the number of services provided in 2013-14 by the Information Commons.

Duplicated Head Count of People Served: 42,674

Library Instruction
Number of Sessions: 32
Number of Students: 450
Research Consultations: 50

Equipment Loans: 137
Interlibrary Loan Requests – Received (non-returnable): 354; Received (returnable): 106

Academic Resource Desk Inquiries            6,054

The Information Commons and Library Services work closely with E-Learning, Tutoring and Technology Services to make sure students receive the support they need for their courses. In 2013-14 E-Learning developed a library module specific to USF Sarasota-Manatee that was embedded in Canvas. The Academic Resource Desk refers students or faculty to E-Learning Services for issues with Canvas. In addition e-Learning notifies the Information Commons and Technology Services about any Canvas-related issues. The Information Commons staff also refers students to Tutoring Services for help with writing and editing their research projects. Technology Services works with the Information Commons to ensure the computers are correctly imaged, equipment upgrades and provide additional technology support if the Information Commons staff is unable to resolve a technology issue for a student or faculty member.


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