Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Instruction & Information Literacy: Library Instruction

Library Instruction Fall 2020

Siena's librarians will be offering library research instruction during the fall semester.  However, things will be a bit different than usual.  The biggest change for us is that the library's instruction room (L-29) will probably be used for courses and won't be available to us.  Without it, we may not be able to have hands-on research sessions--where students start working on their research assignments during the session.  But just like you, we are learning new skills and working on our creativity.

Here is what we can do:
  • If you teach on campus, we can come to your classroom.
  • If you are using Zoom, we can work with you on a Zoom session.
  • We have started creating short videos. 
  • Please use the library's research guides (LibGuides).  Many have recently been updated, keeping online learning in mind.
To schedule a session, or discuss the possibilities, contact Librarian Catherine Crohan (

Library Instruction

The primary purpose of the Standish Library's instruction program is to foster and develop Siena students' information literacy skills; specifically the ability to identify, locate. effectively evaluate, and use needed information. These are essential skills needed to succeed academically, but are also necessary for the development of lifelong learning.  Library instruction sessions are tailored to fir the class. What is covered for a disciplinary course is different than what is covered in a session for the First Year Seminar. Sessions are also tailored for the course level.  Library faculty work with the classroom faculty to determine the learning goals of specific sessions.

The  Essentials of Library Instruction

  • The calendar fills up quickly. Schedule library instruction sessions early.
  • Timing is everything! While scheduling early is good, sometimes having a session very early in the semester isn’t always best. If your research assignment isn’t given until mid-semester, mid-semester is a great time to have a library instruction session.
  • Classes are more effective when given in conjunction with a research assignment. Students are more likely to be motivated to learn about information resources when they know they are required to use them in a research assignment.
  • The research assignment does not have to be a paper. It could be a speech, a multimedia presentation, an annotated bibliography, or some other formal evaluation of information sources.
  • One size does not fit all. Library instruction sessions are tailored to fit the class. What is covered for a disciplinary course is different than what is covered in a session for the First Year Seminar. And the focus may change with the discipline. Also, within the same discipline, sessions may be tailored for introductory or advanced classes.
  • Siena’s librarians like to occasionally leave the library. When appropriate, we will gladly come to your classroom.
  • We strongly encourage class instructors to be present during library instruction sessions. Your presence will inform students that you recognize the importance of information literacy skills, and that these skills will help them succeed in your course.

To schedule library instruction sessions for your courses, or to receive further information, contact Librarian Catherine Crohan at 518-782-6725 or email

Topics We Often Cover

  • Creating a research strategy (and how to revise it)
  • Identifying and effectively using the best databases for a particular discipline
  • How to effectively use Saint Search, the Library's discover tool
  • Determining an author's credentials
  • What makes a journal (or a book, or a website) scholarly
  • How to use ConnectNY and ILLiad (interlibrary loan)
  • How to determine if the library has access to a specific journal
  • How to locate statistical and demographic information
  • How to locate historical primary sources

Coordinator of Library Instruction

Catherine Crohan's picture
Catherine Crohan
(518) 782-6725

Standish Library, room 133
(518) 782-6725

Instruction for Non-Siena Groups

Our primary patrons are the students, faculty, and staff of Siena College.  Library instruction for other groups will be provided on a limited basis at the discretion of the Coordinator of Instruction and the Library Director.