Do you students site Marie Claire and Vanity Fair? Or worse yet a Facebook infographic?“I've Already Written My Paper, Now I Just Need to Find Some Sources”The references are too specific or too broad in relation to their topic.“I need two articles. Any two under ten pages from this list of 1,862 will do.”Do your students not have consistency in their reference formats?As a librarian, I don’t often get to read student papers but earlier this year I served on the Cecil B. Day Campus Research Prize committee. Reading the submissions was very telling.
I’ve read in more than one article that faculty valued librarians’ technical skill.
It’s the Association of College and Research Libraries’ holy grail, but it does not have to be yours or CCPS’s.
It’s possible to teach critical thinking without telling your students that that’s what you’re teaching, but it’s not required to be a secret either.
Scavanger hunts are mechanical tasks and do not engage in higher level thinking. Students can too easily copy their answers from their classmates.One student removes the book and no one else can find the answer.Many students want to write papers about medical conditions that they or someone they know suffers from, but can they understand primary research on cell mutation?Do not give assignments requiring the Wharton Research Data Service which is a database Mercer does not have access to. Databases cannot be interlibrary loaned. Getting a trial for the same database each time a course is offered is unethical.
Is it a monologue, regurgitation, summary or something better?
The Swilley Librarians are very proud of their LibGuides. Each librarian creates their own webpages to guide students and faculty in library research for a particular subject area.You can get to them by clicking on Subjects Guides from the Swilley Library’s homepage.
Most of my LibGuides have a tab for “Looking for Journal Articles?”For each class that I give an instruction session for and have a syllabus for, I create a LibGuide.
I’ve heard that the best kept secret about libraries is instant messaging reference. If you use MSN, Yahoo! AOL or Google Hangouts for instant messaging you can add AskMercer as your friend or you can enter your question whenever you see one of these chat widgets, to chat with a librarian.
We have LibGuides for EndNote and Zotero.Raise your hand if you’ve used EndNote or Zotero before?Use citation managers to import references from databases or the library catalog and use them to create footnotes and bibliographies in approximate APA Style 6th ed., (or almost any other style).It’s not foolproof so students will still have to know APA Style to correct the software’s mistakes.
Adjunct Faculty Retreat - Library
Incorporating the Mercer University
Libraries into a Course Design
Liaison to the College of Continuing and
Professional Studies for the Atlanta Campus
Faculty services basics
What you do currently, what you would like to see
Common issues with student papers?
Why use library-related assignments?
ACRL Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Education
Answer any questions you may have
Outline / Agenda
What do you do currently do to incorporate the
Mercer University Libraries into course design?
What do you hope to achieve?
How would you like the library to be involved?
Common issues with student
The evidence does not support the claims / The
sources are not relevant
Not using anything resembling APA Style 6th ed.
Include broken links to articles
Enhance students’ critical thinking skills
Teach students to evaluate information
Encourage active participation in learning
Utilize technology to enhance
understanding of topic
Why Library-Related Assignments?
Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Education
1. The information literate student determines the
nature and extent of the information needed.
2. The information literate student accesses needed
information effectively and efficiently.
3. The information literate student evaluates
information and its sources critically and
incorporates selected information into his or her
knowledge base and value system.
4. The information literate student, individually or as a
member of a group, uses information effectively to
accomplish a specific purpose.
5. The information literate student understands many
of the economic, legal, and social issues
surrounding the use of information and accesses
and uses information ethically and legally. 14
Illustrate relevance – not just to course objectives but
Show how information literacy can be a “marketable”
skill in the workplace
Provide clear, simple, written instructions to students
(and to librarian if consulting with one)
Allow students to explore their own interests
Meet librarians (we don’t bite) and explain differences
between public/academic libraries
Creating Effective Library Assignments
Ask students open-ended questions
Schedule library instruction sessions as close to the
point of students’ research need (well in advance as
occasionally multiple classes need library instruction
sessions at the same time).
Tell them their work should demonstrate critical
Limit date range of acceptable sources
Limit sources to original research vs. reviews
Assign scavenger hunt assignments
Limit to print or digital format
Expect students to reference primary research in a
field that they cannot comprehend.
Require the use of resources that Mercer Libraries do
not have access to.
Encourage active reading. – What’s the point?
What’s most/least helpful? Do you agree?
Can they synthesize and use what they’ve read to
form and support their own voice?
Is the voice entirely that of the student’s or entirely
that of the reading?
Student peer review - students can be more
discerning of missing information in their colleagues’
papers than in their own.
Books including eBooks (eBrary and eBooks on EBSCOhost)
Databases (Magazines, Scholarly
Journals, Newspapers, Multimedia, etc.)
Books or articles not at Mercer
InterLibrary Loan (ILL)
**You need your Mercer ID Number (MUID) to access
many of these resources**
Types of Resources
Academic Search Complete
EndNote (citation management)
Consumer Health Complete
…And hundreds more…
Familiarize yourself with available
There are thousands of reputable websites with LOTS
of great, often-updated information. Teach students to
think critically and evaluate…
Greenfield Community College. (nd). Creating Effective Library Assignments.
Retrieved August 5, 2009, from
Norem, M. (nd). Library Assignments. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from
Wochna, L. (2009). Tips for Creating Library/Research Assignments. Retrieved
August 5, 2009, from http://www.library.ohiou.edu/inst/creative.html
Atwood, T. A., & Crosetto, A. (2009). How to address “I've already written my paper,
now I just need to find some sources”: Teaching personal voice through
library instruction. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 16(4), 322-328. doi:
Hayes-Bohanan, P., & Spievak, E. (2008). You Can Lead Students to Sources, but
Can You Make Them Think? College & Undergraduate Libraries, 15(1/2),
173-210. doi: 10.1080/10691310802177200
Mahaffy, M. (2006). Encouraging critical thinking in student library research: An
application of national standards. College Teaching, 54(4), 324-327.
Miller, I. R. (2010). Turning the tables: A faculty-centered approach to integrating
information literacy. Reference Services Review, 38(4), 647-662. doi: