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All too frequently, instruction librarians’ only opportunity to teach students distills down to the fifty-minute, one-shot, make-or-break experience. We disseminate the essential information as requested—how to use the library, how to search the databases, and so on—with little time to explain why all the pieces fit together and why they are important. Worse, well-intentioned librarians often strive to cover as much as possible in these sessions, oversaturating and frustrating their student audience.

Even in settings of brief duration with no follow-up, another approach is possible. Rather than attempting to demonstrate everything at once, we can interject effective, real-life motivational tactics into the session by highlighting the underlying purpose of the process demonstrated. In other words, we can focus not simply on “what” or “how” but on “why.” Providing this context and structure not only grounds students, it clarifies and demystifies the process. Understanding that purpose and method are as important as data better empowers students with strategies to pursue their own needs independently. This chapter focuses on graduate students, particularly those in doctoral programs, but with a little creative thinking, these strategies could also be adapted for application with undergraduate learners.