Wayne State College

Conn Library Services

Faculty - Library Instruction Program

Mission Statement

In keeping with Wayne State College’s mission to prepare students for careers, advanced study and civic involvement, the library is dedicated to providing access to as many resources and services as possible to support curriculum-related teaching, research, and other scholarly endeavors to all students. It is the mission of the Library Instruction Program to foster the development of information literacy - the ability to independently find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. The program teaches library users information research methods and skills that they need to attain their academic goals and become lifelong learners through point-of-use, course-related, web-based, and credit course instruction while at the same time encouraging a collaborative relationship between librarians, students, faculty, and staff.

Research Assignments

The most successful and effective library assignments are those developed through collaboration and cooperation between librarians and faculty. Librarians are ready and willing to assist faculty in developing strong, meaningful library research assignments that meet the learning objectives of individual classes and students and that support the teaching efforts of all WSC faculty.

Creating Effective Library Research Assignments
Assigning library research is an effective way to introduce students to research and library resources and to develop your students' critical thinking skills. However, you may not have the time to grade lengthy research papers. The library at the University of California-Berkley’s guide to Effective Research Assignments has some “surprisingly brief, yet remarkably thought-provoking ideas for library assignments.”

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Assuming Students Know Library Basics — Don't assume your students have experience using the library, or that their freshmen orientation was relevant to your assignment. Basic introductory skills may be inadequate for an upper level subject-based research assignment.
  • Requiring Resources without checking Availability — Resources may change dramatically from semester to semester. It is always a good idea to retest the assignment before giving it out.
  • Telling Your Students Not to Use “Internet Sources" — Remember that many other scholarly sources are available online through library databases and Google Scholar. If you do not want your students using “Internet” sources, explain why resources (ex: Wikipedia, commercial websites) are not allowed.
  • Leaving the Library out of the Loop —  We need to know what you know.  Send a copy of your assignment or list of resources to the library to keep at the Research Help Desk so that librarians can refer to it as questions arise.
  • Forgetting to Refer Students to the Library for Help —  Librarians are available at the Research Help Desk in the library to help students find resources for homework assignments and research papers  and to assist them with  citation work. Students may also make one-on-one appointments with librarians for help with specific topics, developing citations, or navigating the library. Add this information into you syllabus and repeat it often!
  • And Finally...Not using Course Reserve — Tell your students they are “on reserve at the Circulation Desk” instead of just saying they are “at the library."

If you are uncertain what resources are available, wish for assistance in designing library-related assignments for your class or want to request an online course guide tailored to your research assignments, contact Valerie Knight at 402-375-7443 or [email protected].

Library Instruction Programs

Have librarians introduce library databases, library research, or source evaluation.  Each session can be tailored to specific course assignments.

Goals and Objectives

Teach students:

  • how scholarly information is formally and informally produced, organized and disseminated.
  • how to analyze the research question and develop appropriate search strategies and search queries.
  • how to select appropriate research tools and resources relevant to their field of inquiry.
  • how to locate needed information available from the library collections, the Internet, and other sources.
  • how to evaluate information sources critically in order to select appropriate sources to inform their research.
  • how to use information ethically, and cite it in an appropriate style.

Work with faculty:

  • to develop assignments that will promote information literacy in their course work.
  • in finding new resources and avenues to assist them with their teaching.
  • Offer instruction in information technology tools to faculty and librarians to assist them in their duties.
  • Develop instructional resources in information research and management that satisfy the needs of learners with varying skills, learning styles, and locational needs.
  • Continuously improve and meet the changing expectations of the faculty, students, staff, and the college community.

For help designing library-related assignments for your class, to request an online course guide tailored to your research assignments, or to answer other questions regarding library instruction, contact Valerie Knight at 402-375-7443 or at [email protected].

Embedded Librarians
Embedded librarians are librarians who work closely with faculty in their courses, fielding questions and providing time-appropriate tips about research and citations via Canvas throughout the course of an entire semester.  The key to the program is the “Class Librarian" discussion board where librarians tailor tips and suggestions for YOUR students so that they can be successful in YOUR class. 

To request an Embedded Librarian contact Valerie Knight at [email protected] or 402-375-7443.