The Evolution and Reaffirmation of a Library Orientation Program in an Academic Research Library
Du Mont, Mary J.
Schloman, Barbara F.
In 1981, James Rice proposed that there are three levels of library instruction: library orientation, library instruction, and bibliographic instruction.1 Library orientation provides an introduction for users to the physical library layout and selected resources and services. The more subtle objectives are to reduce user anxiety, motivate subsequent use, and promote the availability of helpful service. In Rice’s model, the second level provides a more extensive explanation of specific library materials and the third is the offering of formal courses in bibliography. One can argue that this model is dated and no longer reflects the instructional programs carried out by academic libraries. Today’s emphasis is increasingly placed on the process of information seeking and management, in addition to the organization of knowledge and libraries. This article focuses on Rice’s first level—library orientation—and the continuing viability of its role as the foundation piece of a library’s instructional program, especially in an electronic environment.