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Library Instructors' Toolkit : Templates

Faculty Introductory Email

For a session in a library classroom

 

Dear Professor ________,

I have scheduled a library instruction session at [x a.m./p.m.] on [day and date] in the library classroom, B238, in the basement.  Take the elevator to the basement. The classroom is just beyond the doorway to your left as you exit the elevator.  Would it be helpful if I met your class at the library entrance? 

Please let me know what library research your students will need to conduct.  It would help me to tailor a session for your class if you sent me your syllabus.  Do you have specific library resources you would like me to cover?   Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to address, or if you have any questions.

Thank you,

 

For a session outside the library

 

Dear Professor ________,

I am happy to meet with your class at [x a.m./p.m.] on [day and date] in [classroom location]. Is there a resident computer/projection system in the room?  If I need to bring a laptop is there a projection system I can use?  [if there is not you may want to ask the professor if you can hold the class in the library]

Please let me know what library research your students will need to conduct.  It would help me to tailor a session for your class if you sent me your syllabus.  Do you have specific library resources you would like me to cover?   Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to address, or if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Faculty Follow-up Email

Dear Professor ________,

Thank you for bringing your class to the library on [insert date] for a library instruction session. It was a pleasure meeting you. In an effort to improve the quality of session content and provide better service to you and your students, I ask that you take a minute to complete the following evaluation. 

1. What was the most useful skill/information you think your students learned in this library instruction session?

2. What was the least useful skill/information you think your students learned in this library instruction session?

3. Are there any changes you could suggest that might have improved the library instruction session?

4. Are there things that still seem confusing about library research, either to you or to any of your students?

5. Have you noticed an improvement in your students' research papers(such as use of better sources) as a result of the library instruction?

Your input is greatly appreciated! I look forward to working with you again in the future.

Sincerely,

Learning Outcomes

Freshman (basic) Level:  Freshman students will be able to

Identify staff who provide assistance with library services in order to obtain help

Distinguish between a citation to journal, book or other format in order to select appropriate tools to obtain the cited materials

Select keywords that potentially reflect research question in order to find appropriate articles for an academic paper

Navigate to either Academic Search Premier or AcademicOneFile to search for articles

Locate a known item in our primary search mechanisms in order to identify materials held by Northwestern's libraries

Construct a Boolean search using “advanced search” boxes in order to efficiently locate articles that reflect their questions

Limit a search to scholarly articles in order to fulfill research assignment requirement

 

Junior/Senior Level Seminars

(Note:  at this point many junior-senior students have not had library instruction, and would therefore benefit from the Freshman level outcomes—as we institute more programmatic instruction more junior-seniors will be ready for next steps, below)

Identify subject specialists in areas of interest

Select key databases in areas of interest

Construct a Boolean search using search syntax (e.g. “and,” “or,” “not”)

Identify material type using citations in a bibliography or database

Locate articles that are available via the FindIt button

Place an interlibrary loan request

Assessment Questions Tied to Freshman Learning Outcomes

Assessment questions below are suggested model questions that instructors might modify with relevant examples to fit the subject and focus of the course.  It may only be necessary to select a couple (2 to 3) questions below to use as pre, post, or both pre and post questions.  The audience can be asked via web or paper forms.  However, polling the class with a simple show of hands, or the use of the Libguides interactive poll feature, or a free software such as Poll Everywhere, can also be a great way to gauge your audience's learning.  If done before the session ends, you can also build in a few minutes then to correct any misconceptions or re-teach a concept.

Outcome 1: Identify staff who provide assistance with library services in order to obtain help

Where would you click on the library homepage to contact/id staff for help?  Choose all that apply.

--Ask a Librarian***
--Recommended Resources by subject***
--Find Materials
--Renew Materials
 

Outcome 2: Distinguish between a citation to journal, book or other format in order to select appropriate tools to obtain the cited materials

a. What type of material does the following represent?

Mullins, P R, Labode, M., Jones, L C, Essex, M E, Kruse, A M, & Muncy, G. B. (Summer 2011). Consuming lines of difference: the politics of wealth and poverty along the color line.  Historical Archaeology, 45, 3. p.140(11).

--website
--book
--newspaper article
--journal article***

b. What research tool would you use to search for and access the item, and what info from the citation would you enter into the search?

--NUcat / Consuming lines of difference…
--Gale Virtual Reference Library / Mullins PR
--NUcat / Historical Archaeology***
--Lexis Nexis Academic / Historical Archaeology

Outcome 3: Locate a known item in our primary search mechanism in order to identify materials held by Northwestern's libraries

Where would you look to determine whether Northwestern owns the following item:

Holcomb, Gary Edward, and Charles Scruggs, eds.  Hemingway and the Black Renaissance. 
     
Columbus, Ohio State University Press, 2012.

--NUcat***
--MLA International Bibliography
--Worldcat
--Academic Onefile

Outcome 4: Select keywords that potentially reflect a research question in order to find appropriate articles for an academic paper.

“I need to find articles that discuss analysis of rhetoric in presidential debates.”  What keywords from this statement might be the best terms on which to search?

--presidential debates
--rhetoric and presidential debates***
--analysis and rhetoric
--presidents and analysis
 

Outcome 5: Navigate to either Academic Search Premier or Academic OneFile to search for articles

Where might you click on the library website in order to navigate to and access Academic Search Premier?

--Click on All Databases, Recommended Resources by Subject, or your library class page***
--Click on All Databases, NUcat, or Ask a Librarian
--Click on NUcat, Interlibrary Loan, or Ask a Librarian
--Click on Interlibrary Loan, Research Consultations, or Ask a Librarian

 

For the next 2 outcomes, rather than polling your class with questions, ask them to email you their search results.  This is a great active learning exercise, plus you can quickly see from your email results whether they understand the question or not.  Review their results before the conclusion of the class in order to address any questions answered incorrectly.

Outcome 6: Construct a Boolean search using “advanced search” boxes in order to efficiently locate articles/books that reflect their questions.

I am looking for research on the discussion of ghosts as related to the novel “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.

An advanced search on this topic might look something like the search below, but let your audience try to construct the search on their own and send you their search results.

morrison and beloved     and      ghosts or spirits
 

Outcome 7: Limit a search to scholarly articles in order to fulfill research assignment requirement.

A search limit you can commonly apply in databases such as Academic Onefile and Academic Search Premier is a limit to peer-reviewed articles.  Ask your class to do a peer-reviewed limited search on a named topic, and then email you a couple of their resulting articles.

Additional Assessment Questions

These are other questions you could plug into either a pre or post-test.

These are just examples, feel free to use, adapt, or not use as you see fit.

Putting a * at the end of a word in a NUsearch search means
a) Nothing
b) The same thing as "and"
c) Makes the word plural
d) looks for that word plus any ending

To find an academic or scholarly article on your subject, you should search in
(check all that apply)
Google
A subject-specific search in the Library Search Tool.
Academic Search Premier
LexisNexis
Recommended Resources by Subject

Where can you go for help if you need research assistance?
a) Circulation Desk
b) Information Commons Desk
c) Reference Desk
d) InterLibrary Loan


Which is NOT available  for free at Northwestern University Library?
a) printing and photocopying
b) electronic copies of newspaper  articles
c) research help
d) electronic books and  encyclopedia

Pre-Test only questions

What do you already know about this topic?

Where do you plan start looking to begin your research process?

Where will you first ask for assistance if you are having trouble finding information on your topic?

Post-Test only questions

What three things will you remember from this session?

Please list one positive thing about this session, something you liked or found useful?

What changes could be made to improve the teaching or the content of the library instruction sessions?