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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.

Librarians can partner with you to teach information literacy concepts in a variety of classes:

  • Capstones -- instructors can invite librarians into the classroom, or students can meet individually with a librarian to:
    • create a research plan
    • formulate advanced searches in particular databases
    • frame their ideas into searchable terms and phrases
    • learn about bibliographic management tools to organize their citations, and more.
  • Research Methods courses -- librarians can collaborate with you to ensure you're including relevant new resources and using the full potential of current resources.
  • Writing Attentive courses -- librarians can show students how to download citations for sources from various databases, how to find the style manuals in the library collection and online, and help them evaluate the sources they're using to inform their writing. 
  • Introductory Level Courses -- librarians can show students: 
    • differences between scholarly literature and general interest publications
    • database features like controlled vocabulary, keyword searching, Boolean operators, etc. 
    • how to get help at any stage in the research process.

Contact the librarians to start planning your library instruction now. 

Introduction to Basic Library Skills

Approximately 15 minutes.

  • brief overview of holdings, collections, & circulation and access policies
  • show how to access course-specific Library Guides
  • how to obtain reference services and/or consultations

Effectively Using Google Scholar

Approximately 20 minutes.

  • Advanced searching techniques, filters, date parameters
  • Algorithm biases, firewalls, limitations of content
  • Using citations to conduct backwards searches
  • Using the Library holdings linked in Google Scholar search results
  • more

Effectively Using Images

Approximately 30 minutes.

  • Effective Image Use
  • Where/how to search for images (Artstor, Google advanced image search),
  • Optimal size/format, usage and rights.
  • Basic Photoshop editing, etc.

Library Catalog Basics

Approximately 15-20 minutes.

  • differences between catalog, database, and open web searches
  • using keywords to find books on a topic
  • utilizing Subject Headings in search strategies
  • limiting searches by material type, collection, format, availability, etc.
  • eBook access and link resolution
  • Interlibrary Loan demonstration

Developing a Search Strategy

  Approximately 15 minutes.

This is a crucial point in the research process. Finding helpful and relelvant background information, credible sources, and news, can make searching for peer-reviewed information easier later. 

  •   defining and refining a research question or paper topic
  •   identifying keywords and establishing search parameters
  •   selecting and accessing relevant databases

Evaluating Sources

Approximately 30 minutes.

  • tips for assessing credibility of content from sources and/or websites
  • the peer-review process
  • the information life cycle
  • interpreting URLs and permalinks
  • contextual and constructed authority

Identifying Citations

Approximately 20 minutes.

  • What does a book citation look like? An article citation? A television interview?
  • How can students find out what articles were cited by an author? Or search by citation in a database?
  • Where can students find citations in a database?
  • Where are the style manuals located in the library?
  • We'll differentiate what librarians can help with regarding citations and when to go to the DEWC. 

Basic Database Searching (using the library’s discovery tools)

Approximately 30 minutes

  • differences between catalog, database, and open web searches
  • keyword searching
  • deciphering database results and records
  • using initial results to expand search strategy
  • narrowing, broadening, and refining results
  • citation helpers

Advanced Database Searching

Approximately 30 minutes. Add 10 minutes for each specific database demonstrated. 

  • finding and accessing specialized, disciplinary databases
  • advanced queries using Boolean operators, truncation, & nesting
  • using descriptors and built-in thesauri
  • creating folders, saving results, special features

Differences Between Types of Publications

Approximately 15 minutes.

  • scholarly vs. popular vs. trade publications
  • explanation of primary, secondary, and tertiary sources
  • the information life cycle
  • the scholarly publishing model