Why library instruction?
What library instruction do students "automatically" get, and if they do, why more?
What content is covered in a library instruction session?
How long is a typical session, and where are the sessions taught?
How much advance notice is needed when scheduling library instruction?
How do I request instruction?
Although we often regard students as “digital natives,” the academic research process is new to them and can be daunting. Students accustomed to relying on Google for their information needs often struggle to develop the search skills necessary for accessing scholarly information. Because more information than ever is now available to our students, they are often overwhelmed and uncertain about how to begin their research. Each of our eight reference librarians works to maintain current awareness of search tools, resources, and strategies appropriate for specific academic departments and subject areas. As a result, we can design customized sessions to help your students develop the skills they need to effectively locate, retrieve, evaluate, and utilize information.
Each student who enrolls in Writing 1120: College Writing participates in two fifty minute sessions taught by reference librarians. Depending on their major, many students may not participate in a library session until they enroll in an upper division class. The initial College Writing sessions are designed to help students gain introductory knowledge of the research process and the resources available to them at UMD. These sessions do not address specialized, subject-specific resources that students will need to use for upper-division courses.
Content varies depending on the needs of your students. Librarians will customize the course content to address your specific assignment(s) and goals. Sessions can address specific databases, the library catalog, citation management tools such as RefWorks, or other issues related to research, information, and scholarly communication.
Key learning outcomes for library instruction include:
- Students will select key terms for searching on an assigned or self-selected research topic.
- Students will locate and access library materials using the catalog and databases.
- Students will distinguish between types of sources (academic/scholarly, popular, news) and select appropriate sources for their research needs.
The length of a session can vary depending on your needs. Librarians can visit a class to make a brief (5-10 minute) introduction, or provide a session that runs the full class time. Librarians are also available for long-term collaboration or consultation. Librarians can be given access to your Moodle site, and answer questions from students there, in forums or via chat. If your schedule does not allow for a class visit or library session, librarians can also create customized online research guides for your course.
Library sessions can be held in either of the library's two instruction labs, or in your classroom, depending on your preference.
Please provide two weeks advance notice if possible. Requests given with shorter notice can be accommodated, but librarians can best prepare when given additional time.
Please complete this form to schedule library instruction. The subject librarian from your department will contact you to confirm your session.
If you have any questions about library instruction, please contact Kim Pittman at email@example.com or (218) 726-7829 for more information.
The UMD Library does not offer library instruction to non-campus groups including school groups. Our collections are intended for university-level students and are generally too advanced for most elementary and secondary students. Public and school libraries, though not as large as ours, are generally the most appropriate place for beginning research.