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Library SACS Accreditation 2015: FINAL DRAFT 3.8.2

Data and resources for our upcoming SACS review.


San Antonio College (SAC) ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.


Description of the library instruction program


Library instruction is available primarily through course-related classes which are tailored to specific course assignments, and:


    • accomplish learning objectives determined by the librarian in consultation with the classroom instructor
    • develop a questioning approach to identify information needs
    • demonstrate a library research process
    • teach how to evaluate resources
    • reduce student anxiety by providing an atmosphere which promotes learning.


Classroom instructors select their own library instruction timeslot via the online LibCal system. Reminders about booking library instruction are sent out via email at the beginning of each semester. (Library Instruction FlyerSchedule of Classes).These classes provide students with an introduction to the research process and the critical evaluation of information. The library has two instruction classrooms, equipped with a projection system, two screens and the instructor's computer, with 30 individual student computers in one classroom and 40 in the other. Classroom demonstrations integrate student hands-on participation using the library Discovery, databases, and the Web. In library instruction classes, librarians create LibGuides tailored to specific course assignments to assist students in the use of library materials. Instructors are encouraged to meet with librarians to design library-related assignments for their courses.


Librarians use ACRL guidelines to measure learning outcomes in each class. Students submit a Wrap-Up online form at the end of each class which provides data on learning outcomes.


Delivery modes for Library Instruction also include:


  • One-on-one instruction at the reference desk, which provides librarians with the opportunity to teach the research process and the critical thinking skills to fulfill students' information needs. Librarians teach students how to select and use appropriate resources such as reference books, library Discovery, and databases. Instruction extends online via our Ask a Librarian” reference service, in which librarians provide screenshots of how to search for specific topics.



  • The Library "How do I" Webpage which offers links to a number of Webpages with instructions on how to use library technology. 


Library faculty promote information literacy by teaching library instruction (LI) sessions tailored to the subject, topics, and assignment identified by the classroom instructor. From Fall 2010-Summer 2014, Library faculty taught 32,155 students in 1609 sessions. The numbers of sessions and students for the fall and spring semesters have remained relatively constant, with fall showing higher demand for LI. The number of classes taught in the summer is not as consistent because fewer classes are offered. Faculty may also choose to not assign research projects during the summer due to time limitations during the shorter semesters. The drop in the number of sessions and students during Fall 2012 is attributed to the restructuring of the Student Development (SDEV) 0170 lecture hall and round robin orientation sessions.




In an effort to provide similar levels of LI excellence to the growing numbers of distance education faculty and their students, library faculty used the Elluminate virtual classroom, which was eventually upgraded to Collaborate after it was bought out by Blackboard. This addition to the LI program showed steady growth from just 9 sessions taught in 2004 to 30 sessions taught in 2010-2011. All of these sessions are recorded and available for online playback by faculty and students. Due to staffing limitations during the day and the fact that these online classes take place in the evening (when online students are available), the distance education librarian has been unable to keep up with the demand for Collaborate classes. 30 sessions were taught in academic year 2010-2011 compared to just 21 sessions taught in academic year 2013-2014. The number of nights when these sessions are offered also dropped from 3 nights a week to 2.


The Library Instruction program has maintained a high value and importance for classroom instructors in helping them meet their student learning outcomes for course research projects. The relationship between librarians and classroom instructors is invaluable to students; together we form an instructional team around specific research assignments which address student learning outcomes and foster critical thinking. Soliciting this feedback from our peers helps us improve our teaching.


Every year, library faculty send out an online evaluation asking our faculty colleagues to assess how we're doing in the classroom. More than 90 percent of faculty agreed or strongly agreed with all of the following statements:


  1. The class(es) helped my students understand how to identify and locate relevant resources.
  2. The class(es) covered the subjects related to my students' research needs.
  3. The class(es) helped my students to successfully complete research assignments for the course.
  4. My students appeared more confident about using the library's resources after attending the instruction session(s).


The Library Instruction program has also maintained a high degree of satisfaction among students. More than 90 percent of students agreed or strongly agreed with all of the following statements after taking part in a library instruction class:


  1. I now have a better understanding of how to organize my search for a topic.
  2. I now have a better understanding of where to look for academic sources on a topic.
  3. I had the opportunity to ask questions and participate in hands-on practice.
  4. I was able to locate at least one relevant source on a topic.
  5. The concepts, skills, and resources I learned about today will help me complete my research assignment.

In Fall 2010, the SAC Administration mandated that all faculty provide student learning outcomes and assessment of those outcomes for all classes. Library faculty swiftly embraced this charge for more accountability in the classroom. They created a flexible system of in-class student tasks, grading rubrics for these tasks, and an Excel spreadsheet to report these assessments. All in-class tasks were built to assess Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) information literacy standards. For a more in-depth view of this system, including complete statistical assessments, please refer to:  



Student learning outcome assessments prove beyond a doubt that students are learning and applying ACRL information literacy skills and concepts during LI. The chart below illustrates at what level students are performing the in-class tasks assigned by library faculty. Tasks are graded using rubrics that assess if students did not attempt the task, need improvement, or performed at a good or excellent level.




Spring 2010

Fall 2010

Spring 2011

Fall 2011

Spring 2012

Fall 2012 – Spring 2013

Not Attempted







Needs Improvement
























From Spring 2010 to Spring 2013, Library faculty achieved consistency of at least 90% of students performing at an Excellent or Good level. Librarians felt it was time to rethink our approach and perhaps challenge ourselves and our students a little more. Also, the method of assessment was becoming quite tedious due to librarian retirements. With more duties falling on the shoulders of the few, there was less time to devote to individually scoring and reporting on each student task performed on the LibGuides. Starting in Fall 2013, online “Wrap Up” forms were used to collect student learning outcome data at the end of each library instruction class. The Wrap Up forms standardized which student learning outcomes were addressed in each class whereas before each librarian could choose how many outcomes they would measure.


In Fall 2013, 2556 students were measured on 3 learning outcomes:



Outcome 1.1.c - Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic


Outcome 2.2.d - Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books)


Outcome 3.4.g - Selects information that provides evidence for the topic 



28.75% = Excellent


50.93% = Good


20.30% = Needs Improvement



79.68% = Excellent and Good


20.30% = Needs Improvement




In Spring 2014, librarians chose to include an additional learning outcome and statements evaluating the quality of instruction on the Wrap Up form. 


983 students were measured on 4 learning outcomes:



Outcome 1.1.c - Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic


Outcome 2.2.b - Identifies keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed


Outcome 2.2.d - Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books)


Outcome 3.4.g - Selects information that provides evidence for the topic 



25.43% = Excellent


42.42% = Good


32.14% = Needs Improvement



67.85% = Excellent and Good


32.14% = Needs Improvement


Overall this “authentic” assessment method within LI has provided significant benefits to students, faculty, and librarians. Students have more in-class time to practice the very skills and concepts they will need to complete their research projects. Classroom instructors are able to measure how much their students are learning during LI. Library faculty are more student-centered and focused on the measurable outcomes of their classes. Library faculty will continue to partner with classroom faculty to help a majority of students perform at an excellent and good level on these transferable research skills and concepts.


Available from any internet location, students and faculty use LibGuides during LI to access resources, complete assessment tasks, and take part in interactive polling. Students may email these LibGuides to themselves. Library faculty have effectively increased our instructional “reach” to students each time they access and use a LibGuide. Links can be updated, resources added, even Jing videos can be inserted into a LibGuide after a student’s LI session in order to answer questions or meet their specific research question. Students can also send emails right from their LibGuide if they need more in-depth assistance with their research topic. All LibGuides are perfectly formatted for smartphone use, too. Students can access research tips and sources on the go.


Access to collections and services provided for off-campus sites and distance learning courses


Online resources are available to all currently enrolled SAC students (including those attending classes at Northeast Lakeview College, the Greater Kerville Center and the Central Texas Technology Center), faculty, and staff via the Library’s website at:


San Antonio College students, staff, and faculty may access all e-books, databases and indexes off-campus through the library’s homepage. Also available through the library’s homepage is the Ask a Librarian service which provides assistance through email and instant messaging reference services. Remote access to e-books, databases, indexes and online reference assistance enhances learning opportunities for all library users and is vital for distance education students. Students who are off-campus and/or are taking courses online have 24/7 access to ebooks and databases. Students may also use a TexShare card to check out hard copy materials from participating libraries throughout the state of Texas. Reference services (Ask a Librarian) and Library Instruction services (LibGuidesCollaborate) are also provided for all students and online courses.


SAC Online instructors can request live, online research workshops and resource guides for their students. The virtual classroom software, Collaborate, allows librarians, students, and instructors to meet online from any internet location. With audio, chat, video, and whiteboard capability, Collaborate makes online instruction just as interactive as teaching in the traditional face-to-face classroom. Application sharing allows the librarian to show real time searches in the various databases, and also lets students take control of the database to try their own searches. A Quick Start Guide to prepare students for a Collaborate research workshop is available at:


Course research guides list specific resources and search examples for a course assignment or subject area. Instructors can easily link to these guides from their Instructure course pages or website to help students find quality sources and get help with their search strategies. Course research guides are available at:


The Library maintains social media sites on both Facebook ( and Twitter ( 

San Antonio College Library, 1819 Main Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
Located in the Moody Learning Center (MLC) building, floors 2 - 5
Reference Desk: (210) 486-0554 * Send Email
Library interior & exterior photos by: Leonard Ziegler, SAC photographer

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