Collins Memorial Library

Instructional Services

The library's instructional services are designed to teach the university community specific skills needed to fulfill their immediate needs and interests; and to empower individuals with a cognitive framework that guides lifelong information seeking behaviors. The program begins with building basic information skills and follows with topical sessions which reinforce critical thinking and encourage independent learning and problem solving. Services are listed below.

Orientation
The library offers orientation sessions to new faculty and incoming freshmen in late August. Our goal is to acquaint users with the physical layout of the building as well as to inform them of the range and variety of information resources available. New faculty are invited to a session designed to address their professional concerns. Incoming freshman may attend a session during Academic Orientation.

Basic Skills
Students enrolled in freshman seminars receive instruction in basic library skills. They  learn database search strategy that includes formulating a topic, selecting search terms, understanding Boolean logic, choosing appropriate databases, and modifying search results. 

Course Integrated Instruction
On request, topical sessions can be tailored to the specific needs of a course. The emphasis in these sessions is conceptually oriented instruction. Source evaluation, literature formats and access points, scholarly communication patterns, or critical thinking are just a few of the themes that can be woven into a typical presentation. Our goal is to strengthen the faculty's learning objectives by making students more efficient and effective researchers.

Workshops
Librarians offer workshops for faculty and staff on the World Wide Web, database searching, plagiarism, and other topics of interest. On request, we also provide introductory and advanced Web instruction to students outside of class.

Library Related Assignments
Librarians can collaborate and/or review library related assignments. In addition, we can verify citations and the locations of library resources as well as recommend practical considerations that make assignments more efficient and effective For some suggestions, see Ideas for Library Related Assignments and Tips on Designing a Library Assignment.

Instructional Videos
We have a small collection of library instructional videos on general research strategy and selected databases. Sample titles include Discovering the College Library, Research Strategy: Overcoming Library Phobias, and Navigating the Sea of Information. They may be checked out for classroom use. Contact Lori Ricigliano for more information.

Computer Assisted Instruction
One of the ways that students can be introduced to library research at their own pace and in their own timeframe is through computer assisted instruction. The library has a interactive program titled Research Assistant which teaches the skills necessary to write do library research and write a successful research paper. A series of steps guides students through the phases of research, including selecting a topic, finding background information, focusing research, writing a thesis statement, and organizing arguments. The program is installed on the library network and is available on the reference workstations. Our licensing agreement limits access to three simultaneous users.

Library Publications
Librarians prepare research guides for many subject areas ranging from art to education to psychology. In addition, a number of handouts on various library resources and research techniques are available. Publications are kept on the display racks in the I-Commons area. Some are available on the Library's Web site.

We can also prepare customized bibliographies and handouts on research techniques on request. All materials are available for classroom distribution.

Contact your library liaison for more information and to arrange an instructional session.