Skip to main content

Library Instruction Menu

A list of the kinds of library instruction topics and sessions the librarians offer. Faculty are welcome to choose from this menu or collaborate with a librarian to create a customized session.

Goals for FYS/AES

All first-year students will be introduced to the A. Frank Smith, Jr., Library Center's basic resources, develop an understanding of the types of sources appropriate for college level research, and learn strategies for managing the library research process.

The librarian's goals are to show in the initial session:

  • The types and varieties of resources and services available at Smith Library Center
  • How to use the library catalog and a basic periodical database (such as Academic Search Complete) to find references to books and articles on a topic.
  • How to locate & check out library materials from SLC, and how to request items through Interlibrary Loan.
  • That librarians are available for assistance at all points in the research process.

The librarian's goals are to show in a follow-up session:

  • How to evaluate print, electronic, and web-based sources for authority, accuracy, currency, and usability.
  • How the scope of a project affects the types of sources that should be used.

Goals for introductory level courses:

Building upon the library research skills they have developed through the First Year Seminars, students in introductory level courses will learn:

  • How the purpose and characteristics of scholarly literature differ from general interest literature.
  • That most databases follow a common structure that facilitates information retrieval through features like controlled vocabulary, keyword searching, Boolean operators, and special search operators.
  • How to develop an effective search strategy.
  • How to use reference sources such as subject encyclopedias to define research questions and to expand research.
  • That the library research process is recursive.

Goals for upper level courses

Students working in their major or minor will be introduced to specialized resources in a field of study and gain advanced understanding of the scholarly communication process. They will learn:

  • How new information is produced, reviewed, and disseminated in a field/discipline of study.
  • How to identify and use major indexing tools in a field.
  • How to use advanced search techniques like cited reference searching and field limits.
  • How to find and use primary sources as defined by a field, e.g. data sets, government documents, and rare or archival materials.
  • How certain factors affect the value of information in a field, e.g., author’s credentials, publisher’s or sponsor’s reputation, and number of times cited in literature.