Library Instruction and Information Literacy

Instruction Services | Tours and Tutorials | Information Literacy


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.

Instruction Services

Library Instruction for Classes
The Thomas Cooper Library, Business Library, Music Library, and South Caroliniana Library provide instruction to meet the varying needs of the University of South Carolina students, faculty, and staff. Depending on the size of your class and the purpose of the visit, instruction can take the form of:

To arrange an instruction session, select from the links below to contact the library or department that best fits your needs. If you are not sure which library or department best meets your needs, please contact Karen Brown, Reference Librarian and Reference Department (Thomas Cooper Library) Instruction Coordinator, at or 777-4267.

Please see also Designing Assignments to Effectively Utilize Library Resources
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 Working with a reference librarian can ensure that you do not ask students to use outdated resources or resources that are no longer available.

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. Take a look!

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.

Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant Training
Librarians are available to meet one-on-one or with small groups of assistants to orient them to the library or show them effective database searching techniques. To make arrangements for a personal consultation for you or your research assistants, contact: Karen Brown, 803-777-4267

Multimedia Classrooms
Multimedia classrooms are located on levels 1 and 3 of the Thomas Cooper Library. Depending upon availability, multimedia classrooms can be reserved by faculty and staff campus wide. 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. For more information, contact Francess Murray at 777-6244.

Tours and Tutorials

Thomas Cooper Library Tour Schedule
Thomas Cooper Library Virtual Tour
Self Guided Tour of the Thomas Cooper Library
Research Tutorial: Map of the Research Process

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:

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.


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