You can expect the librarian in charge of your instruction session to request a copy of the assignment students will be working on, and it is best if we also have access to the syllabus for the class. Please provide this information when they ask for it.
Librarians draw from many resources and teaching methods to plan these classes, so knowing as much as possible about a particular class, and the instructors' expectations, will help us tailor the session to make sure students get what they need, which is what matters most.
The UNM University Libraries has a robust first-year instruction program, where English 120 students attend a library instruction session (preferably two sessions) as students begin to write their first college-level research paper. Learning as much as possible about the libraries has been proven to improve student retention beyond their first-year.
That said, students are not magically information literate after one 50-minute session with a librarian- they have to continue adding to and improving their skills once they enter their major and up through the postgraduate level.
Not sure whether it would help to bring your class to speak with a librarian? Try us! Ask your subject librarian what they can offer your students. Even students in subjects that may at first seem counterintuitive choices for library instruction, from Math to Drawing, Engineering to Music, can benefit from increased information literacy in their fields!
“Zimmerman Library,” photograph, Mary Brindley Ferguson Pictorial Collection (PICT 2014-002), Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.
We understand that you are busy, and schedules can't always be pinned down in advance. However, the earlier you can schedule your library instruction session, the better! We cannot accommodate requests made less than two weeks before the desired date.
Think about the timing of the session as your students will see it- is their assignment still an abstract thing, off in the distance, or is it near enough that they've already picked their topic and started looking for sources? We get lots of requests for the first few weeks of classes, but these sessions are almost never as effective as they could be, since students don't see a direct need for what we are teaching.
We do require that instructors attend the class with students. Your attendance helps the librarian be more like a visiting artist and less like a substitute teacher, makes sure your students will attend, and reinforces the idea that knowing how to use libraries is important.