Library Instruction

SWCC Library

Library Student Handbook

Library Instruction Opportunities

Individual Instruction:
Reference assistance is available to individuals.   Stop by the Library, call on the telephone, or e-mail the Reference Librarian for help with your research.  The Reference staff is also available for individual instruction.  Lengthy research projects may require scheduled appointments.

Class or Group Instruction:
Library instruction sessions and tours of the Library are available for classes and/or groups.  Instructors are encouraged to call or use the online Library Instruction form to schedule library instruction for classes.  The online form can be located from the Services link on the SWCC Library webpage.  Sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of individual classes and assignments.

Library Exercise, SDV 100 (Critical Thinking):
Use this link to access the Library Exercise if you are in the SDV 100 class at SWCC.  SDV 100 Library Exercise, 2018-2019

Library Exercise, EGR 120
Use this link to access the Library Exercise if you are in the EGR 120 class at SWCC. EGR 120 Library Exercise Fall 2018

Library Basics / CHAT with a Librarian / iLit!:
Library Basics/Information Literacy sessions (iLit!) are offered throughout the Fall & Spring semesters.  They are “free” 45 minute library demonstrations that anyone can attend.  Attendees can learn how to use the SWCC Library web page to locate books, videos, audio cassettes, e-books, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.  Additionally, they learn other valuable research skills, including how to formulate key word searches, or citation generation for bibliographies.  Stop by the SWCC Library Circulation Desk or call the Reference Librarian to learn about Library Basics/Information Literacy sessions.

LBR 195:
1-credit hour library class available to interested individuals.  LBR 195, Topics in Library Research is an online course that will help you become a skilled researcher.  Whether you are a college transfer student, a teacher looking for re-certification points, or someone who just wants to learn more about the Library, this class is for you!

Topics for LBR 195 include the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), Remote Access to Library Resources, Online Library Catalogs, Electronic Books, Online Periodicals and Full-Text articles, Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries, Key Word Searching and Boolean Logic, Search Engines and Web Site Evaluation, citation generation, and much, much, more!  Watch the SWCC Schedule of Classes for locations, dates, and times for the current semester.

Special Library Services for Faculty:
View handout (click here for a pdf) to see some of the special services that are available to SWCC instructors and their students.  Services include Library instruction, remote access to library databases, Reserve collections, LibGuides, collection development, LRC Live! virtual reference service, eBooks, and the Lee Smith Faculty Reading Room.

Take Notice!

LibGuides (Subject Research Guides)

LibGuides are librarian created, subject-specific guides to high-quality research information.  Included are such topics as, but not limited to, Psychology, Controversial Issues, History, Sociology, etc.  For a full list of and access to SWCC LibGuides, click here.


QuickSearch (VCCS Libraries Search) is a library catalog search interface that connects you with a variety of print and electronic resources.  One search on your topic will show you books, e-books, e-journal articles, and streaming multimedia you can access in the library or online.  QuickSearch searches over 30 databases simultaneously, including resources from the library catalog, American History in Video, EBSCO eBooks, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Literature Resource Center, OVID Nursing eJournals, Oxford Reference eBooks, Safari Tech eBooks, and the Wiley Online Library.  More information can be accessed from this VCCS library page.

QuickSearch can be accessed from the SWCC Library Catalog web page. Also, you can link back to the SWCC Library web page (Home) from the QuickSearch page.

NOTE: All the SWCC Library databases are not included in a QuickSearch, so be sure to also use the SWCC Library web page ( for comprehensive searching of our Library databases.

Students throughout Virginia’s community colleges now have an additional way to access reference help from librarians. LRC Live! (Learning Resources Centers Live) is a service which provides a “virtual reference desk” that students can access from the Web, 24/7. LRC Live! offers the opportunity to chat, online and in real time, with a real “live” reference librarian. The reference person shares web pages and other materials directly with the student. At the end of each session, students can receive a complete transcript of the chat session, including links to web pages, if they provide their student email address when they log in to the service. LRC Live! is located under the “Help” area of the SWCC Library web page. Access is also available via the LRCLive Help link from the online SWCC Library Catalog and from Ask-A-Librarian links in some of the library’s databases.

LearningExpressLibrary (LEL) provides a completely interactive online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial course series and ebooks designed to help students and adult learners succeed on academic or licensing tests.  LEL test preparation materials and practice exams are based on official tests and will help  you improve your scores on academic, civil service, military, and professional licensing and certification exams.

Creating an Account:
You can access your practice tests online from home as well as from the SWCC Library.  First-time users MUST register for a LearningExpressLibrary account.

To create an account, click on “Register” and your username will be your SWCC email address and the password of your choice must be 6-10 characters.  Please remember your password for LEL; you will need it to get into the database again.

LEL Centers include: the Adult Learning Center, Career Center, High School Equivalency Center, College Prep Center, Recursos en Espanol, and College Center.

Subject areas of the practice tests in LEL:  ACT, SAT, GED, and GRE Preparation; Reading, Writing, and Math Skills Improvement; Advanced Placement; Business Writing; Teaching (includes Praxis); U.S. Citizenship; Health Careers (includes Paramedic & Nursing); Job & Career Test Preparation; and much more.  The program provides immediate scoring and complete answer explanations.  Click here for a list of Featured Resources in LEL.  You can also gain access from the “Library Resources” link on the SWCC Library web page.

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