The mission of the instruction program at the University Libraries is to support the teaching, research and extension mission of the University by teaching information literacy skills in order to promote academic success, personal and professional decision-making, civic participation, and life-long learning.
The library instruction program at UW Libraries takes a multi-pronged approach to teaching information literacy skills.
We meet with classes when students are beginning a research project in order to teach research skills and tools necessary for the class assignment. We focus our general library instruction on writing and research classes in the University Studies program. If you are interested, please request a library instruction session.
We also offer support for upper-division and graduate classes. You may contact your subject librarian directly with requests for specialized disciplinary instruction, or use the library instruction request form.
We work with faculty and instructors to develop research assignments, syllabi, and curricula that model best practices in information literacy and critical thinking.
We provide online instructional materials for classes, teaching research skills.
We teach credit-bearing research classes LBRY 3010: Research from a Distance and LBRY 3020: Navigating the World of Information.
We offer a series of library workshops for faculty, graduate students, and other interested researchers.
Our top three recommendations for excellent research assignments:
1. Outline the research process for students, and make the research project process-oriented. Acknowledge and explain that research is seldom a linear process and usually involves repeated searches and lots of reading. Many sources, once read, are discarded. It is very helpful to require students to submit some work in progress, which might be an annotated bibliography, a paper proposal, a literature review, a research journal, or another way students demonstrate that they are engaging in a research process far in advance of the final project’s due date.
2. Be clear about expectations for source requirements and provide a clear rationale and context for resource requirements. Define the qualities of acceptable sources. Recommend specific sources (databases, journals, reference books) that students might start with. Consider giving a required number of sources in a range so that students know when they have an adequate number of sources. Avoid a “recipe” for required sources such as 2 articles, 2 books, and 2 websites unless there is a clear reason for doing so and the rationale is given to students. Link resource requirements to the assignment’s stated learning objectives.
3. Encourage students to get in touch with a librarian if they are having trouble finding information, and provide our contact information.
If your students are completing a research project that will require that they use library resources, a guide may be helpful. A librarian can help you to narrow down the thousands of resources available and place a selection of the most relevant databases and tools at your students' fingertips. Contact the Coe Research Help desk to be referred to a librarian who can best help you to create a library guide.