Todd Gilman (librarian for literature in English at Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library) has written a good essay which speaks to higher education faculty about the need for library instruction. It is up at the Chronicle of Higher Education site and should be widely read as a result. The article is titled Not Enough Time in the Library.
From the article:
Academic librarians are eager to offer sessions for students on what we call "research education." But the mistaken assumption that students don't need it means that many professors don't ask us to meet with their students, or even respond to our enthusiastic offers to lead such sessions. Students don't need to be taught anything about working online, because they were practically born digital, right?
Research education is not tools education. Research education involves getting students to understand how information is organized physically in libraries, as well as electronically in library catalogs and in powerful, sometimes highly specialized commercial databases. It means teaching students to search effectively online to identify the most relevant and highest-quality books, articles, microform sets, databases, even free Web resources.
Students do not come to college armed with those skills, nor are they likely to be acquired without guidance. Yet students desperately need such skills if they hope to function effectively in our information-driven economy. As Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams opine in The Craft of Research: The "vast majority of students will have careers in which, if they do not do their own research, they will have to evaluate and depend on the research of others. We know of no way to prepare for that responsibility better than to do research of one's own."