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Information Literacy & Library Instruction

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.

Information literacy in FYS & AES

The FYS / AES library component provides an opportunity for first-year students to engage with the academic library for the first time, and for advanced entry students to become familiar with the resources available at Smith Library Center. Our FYS / AES instruction lays a foundation for students’ understanding of the types of sources appropriate for college level research and strategies for managing the research process. This introduction will form the basis for developing more advanced information literacy skills in the disciplines, and to engage critically and effectively with information in their personal and professional lives.

Material covered in a single introductory session

  • Essential library and technology resources and services available at Smith Library Center, including a brief tour.
  • How to use the library catalog and a basic periodical database (such as Academic Search Complete) to find books and articles.
  • That librarians are available for assistance at all points during the research process.

This library basics session can be scheduled in the first couple of weeks -- or at any time -- during FYS.

Material covered in a second session

During a second session a librarian can identify best databases to use, lead your students through hands on database searches, and discuss strategies to compose and refine effective searches in greater depth. 


Topics covered can include:

  • Identifying appropriate search terms, and refining search results using database tools.
  • Distinguishing between scholarly, trade, and popular journals and magazines.
  • Using Get It! Interlibrary Loan services.
  • Critically evaluating information sources.

A second session in direct support of your specific assignment should be scheduled later in the semester when students have the assignment in hand.