A UBC Librarian teaching students in a teaching and learning space.

Teaching and Learning

One of the core areas UBC’s Strategic Plan is Transformative Learning. In alignment with the strategic plan and in keeping with UBC Library’s strategic direction to support advanced research, learning, and scholarship, the library seeks to deliver and support transformational teaching and learning through a range of library instruction offerings.

This page is a useful starting place for UBC faculty interested in incorporating library instruction into their courses or wondering where to refer students for helpful information about how to use the Library.

What is library instruction?

Library instruction can encompass the wide range of ways that the library can support teaching and learning at UBC. Library instruction typically engages with information literacy, a term that is used to describe the “set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” (ACRL)

What can library instruction look like?

Library instruction depends on the context of the course or the information need. Subject librarians and archivists work with faculty to support a specific assignment, course, or program.

Library instruction can comprise:

  • Instruction in class, online, or via hybrid delivery
  • Instruction through asynchronous resources (research guides, Canvas content, videos, handouts, etc.)
  • General introduction to Library resources and services
  • Custom sessions based on course content
  • Librarian- or archivist-led sessions, or librarian and faculty co-led sessions
  • Single sessions or multiple, needs-based integrated or wholistic embedded sessions

Who can I talk to about library instruction for my needs?

Faculty and staff interested in incorporating library instruction into their courses should reach out to their subject librarian to find out more.

Asian Library

Asian Library supports student learning at both undergraduate and graduate levels through classroom visits, research-based consultations, library tours, and specialized instruction for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indic-language studies. For more information, please contact Asian Library subject librarians through Asian Library’s subject librarian directory.

Canaccord Learning Commons

The Canaccord Learning Commons offers a wide variety of peer-led workshops and events for UBC Sauder School of Business students. Workshop topics include Bloomberg, Capital IQ, Excel, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Canaccord also supports Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), course integrated, academic support sessions led by upper-year students. PASS offers collaborative learning strategies to help students process and review course content, while also developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Canaccord’s Communication Development Program offers three different peer-led Professional Communication Workshops including a Professional Communication Skills Certificate series. Additionally, the CLC offers one-on-one writing coaching led by a professional writing coach.

Chapman Learning Commons

The Chapman Learning Commons offers a wide variety of student-developed and student-led workshops and events throughout the year that are inspired by current student needs and open to all UBC students. Topics range from study skills, time management, balancing self-care and academics, group presentations, study sessions, managing online learning, and more. The Chapman Learning Commons welcomes collaborators and new ideas for workshops.

David Lam Library

The David Lam Library librarians support UBC Sauder School of Business students in developing critical research skills that allow them to find, evaluate, use and cite sources of information relevant to business and business research. The librarians employ multi-faceted approaches to instruction, including delivering course-specific instruction in-person or online and developing highly interactive tools, such as quizzes, escape room scenarios, and cases. They work regularly with student teams, and support experiential learning experiences, such as the MBA Global Immersion program.

Education Library

The Education Library can provide library orientations, foundational and advanced Education research skills workshops, and programming to support teacher candidates in inquiry-based research, K-12 learning design, and practicum planning. We offer instruction in-class, online, or through asynchronous resources and design instructional offerings to align with course and program learning goals.

Koerner Library / Humanities and Social Sciences

Subject to staff availability, the Humanities and Social Science librarians in Koerner Library will be more than happy to arrange course-specific workshops, especially at the third- and fourth-year and graduate levels. Instructors are asked to contact the appropriate subject-liaison librarians.

Law Library

The UBC Law Library supports faculty, students, and staff at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and the rest of UBC, as well as community users. In addition to offering reference and research assistance, law librarians teach legal research and writing skills through both regular course instruction and tailored sessions for specialized audiences. Find out more by visiting the Law Library website or getting in touch with a law librarian.

Music, Art and Architecture Library (MAA)

The Music, Art and Architecture Library provides classroom workshops, research-based consultations, library tours, and hands-on introductions to unique music, art, architecture, landscape architecture, and planning resources, aimed at both the undergraduate and graduate research levels. To book an instructional workshop, library tour, or research consultation, please contact MAA subject librarians through MAA's subject librarian directory.

Okanagan Library

UBC Okanagan Library’s instructional program is focused on facilitating the development of skills that students need to find, evaluate, use, synthesize, create, and cite information sources across disciplines and programs. Find out more at the UBC Okanagan Library Instruction page.

Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC)

Rare Books and Special Collections welcomes requests for class visits. Through a class visit to RBSC, students will benefit from experiential learning through hands-on work with primary sources, develop research skills in finding and using primary source materials, learn proper handling and use of rare materials, and build knowledge for future work in archives, special collections, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. Find out more at the RBSC Classes / Tours page.

Research Commons

The Research Commons in Koerner Library offers interactive workshops for building skills in new and traditional exploratory scholarship, including topics such as Git and GitHub, NVivo, SPSS, GIS, Mendeley, Zotero and others. For more information on offerings and registration, visit the Workshops page. Subject to staff availability, librarians may also be available to collaborate on in-class, course-specific workshops. Request a consultation today.

Scholarly Communication and Copyright

Scholarly Communications and Copyright instructional services focus on supporting researchers, whether they are students, faculty, or staff, in the creation, publishing, and sharing of research findings with academic communities and the broader public. Our instructional topics include copyright, open access and open education, author rights, academic profile development, and publishing practices. Whether you are seeking workshops to support students, research teams, or your own research engagement, the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office is here to support you. Contact us to book instruction or view our offerings on the Library Events Calendar.

Woodward Library and the Biomedical Branch Library

Woodward Library and the Biomedical Branch Library offer in-person and virtual library instruction to students, faculty and staff in engineering, forestry, health and medicine, land & food systems, and science. Specific topics include database searching, evaluating sources, literature reviews, knowledge synthesis, citation metrics, research data management, and open science. Find out more at the Woodward Library workshops page.

Xwi7xwa Library

Xwi7xwa Library welcomes requests for class visits and library instruction sessions. An Indigenous-focused instruction session can be delivered for all disciplines of study; we can show your students how to find multiple formats, too! Classes can visit us at Xwi7xwa Library or a Librarian can come to your physical or digital classrooms. Our collections are diverse and include physical and streaming films, academic articles, community-developed lesson plans for K-12, children’s literature, graphic novels, the latest copy of print journals that we carry digitally, and more! Request a class visit and instruction session at the Xwi7xwa Library’s Make an Appointment page, a Xwi7xwa Librarian will be in contact to discuss your classroom’s learning goals.

Other Library resources

You can explore additional UBC Library services and programs that support instruction below.