Examples of Library Instruction Sessions

Students and librarian participating in a library instruction session

Our reference librarians and subject specialists can provide hands-on instruction for students designed with a particular course in mind by demonstrating and using the tools that will be helpful for students in the class. Besides teaching search techniques and "tips of the trade," such sessions also provide a wonderful opportunity for students to meet a library staff member whom they can approach with their other research questions. Library sessions can last an entire class session, or can be as short as 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the topic).

Medical School Course

The Library's Biomedical Librarian and Pritzker's Assistant Dean for Scholarship & Discovery worked together to develop an assignment. Medical students were required to answer a clinical question by searching the medical literature. Students were required to not only provide an answer, but also share their search strategy. The librarian provided an instruction session on searching PubMed and also reviewed the assignment and provided comments to students on their search strategies.

Humanities Course

For a creative writing class, students were studying different types of reviews written by journalists. Students were required to write a different type of review (film, book, culinary, television, etc.) each week. In addition, each student had to write a paper about a specific reviewer that they respected, and follow the reviewer's work throughout the quarter. For the class, a librarian also provided an hour-long overview of news databases and other web resources to locate reviews.

Social Sciences Course

A reference librarian provides a session for a public policy class studying immigrant communities in Chicago. The session teaches students how to search newspaper databases, locate government documents, and find census information for specific Chicago neighborhoods. 

Special Collections Research Center Assignment

College students are given an assignment to examine a visually-rich object in Special Collections (such as a medieval book of hours, 19th-century daguerreotype or 20th-century political cartoon). Students analyze and describe primary source, find secondary sources to support analysis. In another class, the instructor assigns small, weekly assignments requiring use of archives to develop final research paper or poster presentation.

Citation Management

For an graduate seminar, a reference librarian provides a half-hour overview on how students can use Zotero to organize their research and create bibliographies

For More Information

To learn more about the options available to you, contact the Library to schedule a session.