|Office: FLITE 140H|
Creating Effective Library Assignments
Librarians are available to assist faculty with the recommendations below.
- Please contact the Library before your class comes to do research since many students may contact the Reference Librarians for help.
- Provide a copy of your assignment to your Library Liaison.
- Discuss the assignment with a Librarian if unsure about sources to recommend.
- Let us know how many students are in the class.
- Lay out the purpose of the assignment. (Are students supposed to become familiar with the library, locate physical materials within the building, learn to use general library online databases, or find a very specific piece of information?)
- Tell us if students know the specific names of book titles or journal articles they must find.
- Identify what level of assistance we should provide. (Do students need to find the information themselves, or can they ask for help?)
- Consider whether you would you like a Library Instruction session to assist you with the assignment.
- If so, please contact the Library at least a week in advance of your desired visit.
- Tell us how much time you want spent on instruction, and how much time should be left for students to work on their own.
- Remember that online library resources and databases are constantly changing. These changes may affect your assignments. Check them out each semester.
- Check to be sure materials cited as mandatory print resources are actually available before making the assignment. Physical materials are lost, stolen, hidden and misshelved. If you are unable to check, contact your Library Liaison.
- Avoid sending entire classes to use a single volume or find a single journal article. If necessary, place copies of the material on Reserve at the Checkout Desk, (591-2669).
- If feasible, design the assignment so that a variety of similar resources can be used.
- Do not assume students have had prior experience using a library, or that they have had an orientation to library resources. No matter what your students may say, FSUS courses provide only a tour of the building and a glimpse of the library webpage. In-depth instruction is provided normally only to HNRS 100 classes.
- Help emphasize respect for library materials. For example, please help us point out to students that ripping pages out of material increases university expenses and impacts tuition.
- Match the assignment to the educational level of the student.
- Nearly everyone freed from deadlines procrastinates. Help students pace the assignment by providing deadlines for different stages of the work.
- Remember that the typical undergraduate does not approach research with the same dedication, patience, and thoroughness as a professor or graduate student.
- List some relevant resources available in the library to get students started. See the information about "Required Resources" above for ideas. Please contact your Library Liaison if you need help.
- Be sure that students know why and how to cite information they find in the Library.
- Be clear about which documentation style you prefer.
- Point them to the Library's Citation Guides for APA, MLA, or Chicago styles.
Please feel free to visit the Library and discover the new services available to assist you with your instruction. If you have further questions about Information Literacy and the Information Literacy Instruction Program at Ferris, please contact the Library Instruction Coordinator, Kristy Motz, or call the Oval Information Desk at 231-591-3602.
Last update: July 11, 2008