How can a librarian help with my classes?

As you can see from other pages on this guide, there are lots of library resources you can incorporate into your classes. 

Don't forget the most important resource - your librarian! Here are a few ways we can help:

  • Instruction:

    • Not sure where to start? Your liaison librarian can assist in the design, implementation, and / or assessment of assignments.

    • Decide what type of instruction your students need. We can provide just one type, or both - whatever your preference.

      • Resource-based instruction - for example, a librarian could show psychology students how to most effectively search PsycInfo.

      • Competency-based instruction - for example, a librarian could work with your students on how to evaluate web resources, or talk about the idea that research is a conversation. 

      • Technological tool-based instruction - for example, a librarian could work with your students on how to use Zotero, a citation management tool. 

    • Next, think about the modality (face-to-face, asynchronous online, synchronous online) that makes the most sense for your class, and will work for you and your liaison librarian.

      Keep in mind that the modality of library instruction doesn't have to match the modality of your class. For instance, a librarian might provide a Zoom session for a class that is held face-to-face.

  • Resources:

    • Your librarian can assist you in identifying and embedding static library resources (e-books, research guides, etc.).

    • Your librarian can assist you in identifying open educational resources (OERs) relevant to your course.

  • Communication:

    • Your librarian can share their contact information within your course.

    • Your librarian can administer and / or participate in a discussion board dedicated to library- or research-related questions.

I want to work with a librarian - what next?

  1. Make an appointment with your instruction liaison librarian (see our list of liaison librarians if you're not sure who to contact).

  2. Before the appointment, there are a few things to consider:

    • How would you like to collaborate with the librarian? We go into these ideas in more detail above, but just to reiterate, here are a few ways we can help:

      • Instruction - designing, implementing, and / or assessing research-related assignments

      • Resources - identifying and implementing library resources and OERs

      • Communication - sharing the librarian's contact information; creating a discussion board related to library or research-related questions

    • Timing

      • If you'd like the librarian to work with your class during a specific class session, when?

      • If you'd like the librarian to be available in Brightspace, would you like him or her to be available for the entire course, or just when the students are working on a particular assignment?

      • If you'd like the librarian to be available in Brightspace, how often would you like her or him to login to your course?

    • If you and your librarian agree that s/he will be part of your Brightspace course, make sure to email and ask to have your librarian added to the course!

Your methods and timing will depend on what you and your librarian have decided upon, but here are some general guidelines:

Help your students connect.

  • If your librarian will be available in Brightspace for the entire length of the course, introduce your librarian during the first week, distinguishing between their role and that of the instructor.
  • Include information about the library and specific library modules (i.e. videos, research guides) in your syllabus, via email, via announcements, and/or in person.
  • Point out embedded content throughout your course, especially if it's relevant to an assignment.
  • Refer students who need extra assistance directly to the embedded librarian.

Keep the librarian informed.

  • If your assignments or course timeline changes, let the librarian know in advance.
  • Let your librarian know how things are going – do students seem confused by the librarian's instruction, or do they seem to be getting the message?

Make another appointment with the librarian to debrief and exchange ideas.

  • Was the collaboration successful? Are there things you'd like to change or retain in the future?
  • Did students mention the librarian in course evaluations?