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Research Instruction


Teaching students how to effectively use information resources is at the core of Geisel Library's mission. The library's Research and Information Literacy 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.

Library Classroom Sessions

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. To schedule a session, contact your liaison librarian.

The purpose of the library classroom, located in the upper level of Geisel Library, is to provide an active learning space for students' information literacy development. Up to 24 persons fit comfortably in the space with moveable furniture that may be configured to support various pedagogical needs. The space includes laptops to facilitate hands-on exploration and is equipped with a wide range of instructional technologies that make sessions more interactive and effective. Technologies in the classroom include:

  • a Smart Board and a separate projector screen,
  • document camera,
  • wireless keyboard/mouse,
  • surround-sound audio system, and
  • instructor console.

Contact John Dillon with questions or for more information about the technology in the classroom.

Classroom Use Policy

Use of the library classroom is limited to purposes that support the mission of the library's Research and Information Literacy Instruction program. The space is not intended for use as a regular classroom for faculty and instructors. For questions about this policy, contact Melinda Malik.


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Embedded Librarians

Faculty can invite a librarian to become "embedded" in a particular course via their Sakai course page.  This is useful for research-intensive courses where students would benefit from ongoing access to research help from a librarian, extending beyond a single library instruction session.  You can give your departmental liaison the "Librarian" status on your Sakai course page, which enables him or her to provide help in the following ways:

  • Create announcements
  • Add links to relevant resources, including websites, articles, and databases
  • Respond to student follow-up questions after a library session
  • Create polls and quizzes to assess students' information literacy

You can also ask the embedded librarian to conduct multiple instruction sessions, or attend class occasionally to field students' questions about their research.  Contact your liaison librarian to invite them to become embedded in one or more of your classes.


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SLIPs (Short Library Instruction Presentations)

Faculty can ask a librarian to drop by their regular classroom to deliver 20-minute presentations. These SLIPs are a great option if you cannot spare a full class session, or if your students need targeted instruction on a single skill or type of resource. They can either provide a crash-course on how to use a handful of resources needed for a particular assignment, or focus on a specific issue such as choosing and refining a topic, researching current events, evaluating websites, finding primary sources, or using the EndNote citation manager.

Contact your liaison librarian to schedule a SLIP for your class.


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Special Collaborations

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.

  • Assignment co-development:  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


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Course Guides

Librarians can develop web-based guides to the best library and online resources for a particular research assignment.  These guides are created on the LibGuides platform, which is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and allows for the incorporation of multimedia and dynamic content.

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.


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Research Guides and Tutorials

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.


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