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University Libraries - Instruction Services

Instruction Services

Instruction Request

To arrange a customized library instruction session to meet the specific needs of a class select from the links below to contact the appropriate library or department.  Please use the Book a Librarian request if you wish to set up an individual research consultation.

A reference librarian can meet with you to discuss designing meaningful assignments that make use of library resources and services. We specialize in knowing what the library has available to support your teaching. Working with a reference librarian can ensure that you do not ask students to use outdated resources or resources that are no longer available.

Please see also Designing Assignments to Effectively Utilize Library Resources


Tours and Tutorials

Self Guided Tour of the Thomas Cooper Library 

Thomas Cooper Library Virtual Tour


Research Guides

Don't have time to give up a class for a library session? A reference librarian can work with you to develop a LibGuide specifically for your class. LibGuides are created by librarians for the students and faculty at the University of South Carolina. Each guide can lead to books, journal articles, internet resources, and more for the desired topic of your research guide.

If you are a faculty member or instructor and would like to have a guide prepared for your course contact us at


Faculty/Staff Research Consultations 

Would you like a personal introduction to the library system? Do you have questions about a particular database or want to know more about library resources to assist with a research project? Librarians are available for individual consultations, in the library or in your office. Please contact Marilee Birchfield, 803-777-4267.


Multimedia Classrooms

Multimedia classrooms are located on levels 1 and 3 of the Thomas Cooper Library. The classrooms are equipped with an instructor's station complete with projection, Internet, word processing, as well as DVD, audio, and VHS capabilities. Each classroom has 30 student stations with Internet and word processing capabilities. Depending upon availability, multimedia classrooms can be reserved by faculty and staff campus wide by using the form located here:


Mission Statement

The University Libraries Library Instruction and Information Literacy program is designed to provide skills necessary to recognize an information need; understand information formats and structures so that information can be effectively located and retrieved; and criteria to evaluate information for reliability and accuracy. Furthermore, the program aims to equip students with transferable skills that can be applied to academic, career, and lifelong learning pursuits.

The University Libraries Library Instruction and Information Literacy program is designed to support the learning needs of students as well as the teaching and research needs of faculty and staff.


Information Literacy

The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, developed and approved by the Association of College and Research Libraries, “is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” Characteristics of an information literate individual include the abilities to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

In addition to traditional library skills, information literacy focuses on teaching critical thinking skills to help individuals make sense of the overwhelming amount of available information. Teaching and incorporating information literacy skills into the curriculum is a collaborative effort between librarians, teaching faculty, and administrators. For more information about information literacy, please see the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and Information Literacy for Faculty and Administrators.