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Library Instruction for Courses

What We Do

Library instruction for courses takes many forms. In many cases, it is a collaborative process in which professors and librarians work together in developing and assessing assignments. In other cases, a more appropriate approach is a traditional “bibliographic instruction” session, in which a librarian demonstrates a particular resource or database. Sometimes it can be as simple as having a librarian stop by your class for a brief introduction. Librarians can also develop other materials to support learning in your course, such as handouts, websites, and guides to research resources. Librarians have worked with faculty on developing material for Blackboard course sites. As well, we are available for consultations with students, both as individuals and for group projects.

Teaching with the Library

As information specialists, librarians mediate between the subject matter of your course and the research resources available in the Library and beyond. Librarians can help your students learn about the scholarly conversations in your discipline, and we can help you teach your students about the academic communication process. The most effective teaching, we have found, arises from a true partnership. Faculty feedback, our practice as librarians, research in the field, and particularly our students' experiences have shown that students learn best about library resources when the instruction is linked to a specific, focused assignment. The Library can best serve you when we work together to design and implement effective research experiences for your students.

How to Get Started

Your subject librarian is the first contact person for setting up library instruction for your course. It is helpful, but not essential, to have at least an outline of a syllabus or course schedule and some ideas about assignments in which students will be asked to do research. Starting the conversation before the beginning of the term is ideal, but, given some flexibility, we are almost always able to accommodate the needs of your course. We look forward to working with you.

Last Updated: 5/13/14