Teaching students how to effectively use information resources is at the core of Geisel Library's mission. The library's instruction program is structured to promote the cultivation of information literacy, starting with foundational skills in the freshman year and progressing toward advanced discipline-specific skills in the senior year. These skills help students produce higher-quality research papers and presentations, while preparing them for future success in graduate study or their chosen profession. For more information about our program's design and objectives, see our Information Literacy page.
Library instruction is available in a variety of forms, including traditional instruction sessions in the library classroom, short drop-in presentations, hands-on workshops, one-on-one appointments, and research guides and tutorials on the library website. Our librarians can collaborate with faculty to custom-tailor library instruction to meet the needs of their classes. Contact your department's liaison librarian to discuss how we can be of assistance.
Faculty are invited to bring their classes to the library classroom for traditional instruction sessions. These sessions can be tailored to specific class assignments, and can include a hands-on component that will enable students to get a head-start on their research. Library sessions can cover topics such as how to search library databases, critically evaluate sources, or locate specialized types of information. The library classroom is equipped with 24 student laptops to facilitate active learning and hands-on exploration. To schedule a session, contact your liaison librarian.
Faculty can ask a librarian to drop by their regular classroom to deliver 20-minute presentations on specific topics. These presentations are a great option if your students need targeted instruction on a single skill or type of resource. Most of them are designed to address the needs of more advanced researchers. Here is the current menu of available SLIPs:
- Choosing and Refining a Research Topic
- Citation Tracking: How to follow the "scholarly trail" by using citation searching to locate other relevant sources
- Country Research
- Current Events Research
- Database in Depth: Advanced instruction on using a database of your choosing
- EndNote: A Basic Introduction
- Ethical Aspects of College Research: Discussion of plagiarism, documentation, and copyright issues
- Evaluating Websites
- Historical Newspapers
- Interlibrary Loan
- Polls and Statistics
- Primary Sources
There are other ways that faculty can incorporate library instruction into courses. Here are examples of past collaborations between librarians and Saint Anselm College faculty. Ask your liaison librarian about these or other possibilities.
- Course-integrated instruction: a librarian works with an instructor to develop a research assignment, then conducts hands-on sessions in which students are introduced to the best resources for completing the assignment and given time to work on their own topics
- Evening workshops: the instructor encourages students to attend a research workshop outside of class time, in which students are given basic instruction followed by an opportunity to work on their research with a librarian available to help
- Individual or group appointments: the instructor encourages students to make one-on-one or group appointments with a reference librarian, who helps them get started with finding information on their specific research topics
Librarians can develop web-based guides to the best library and online resources for a particular research assignment. Not just simple lists of resources, these teaching-oriented guides include annotations explaining the value of particular resources and guidance on how to use them. They also place resources in the context of the larger research process. Course guides can either stand alone as instructional tools or reinforce and supplement the lessons of a library instruction session. For examples, see our page of previous course guides. Ask your liaison librarian about creating a course guide for one or more of your classes.
Geisel Library has created a number of guides and tutorials that are available on the Geisel Guides webpage. These include guides on how to find specific types of sources, evaluate websites, and distinguish scholarly from popular sources, among others. Also available are video tutorials with audio voiceovers that explain how to use the most important library tools and how to find items in the library. Faculty may wish to link to relevant guides and tutorials from their Sakai course pages.