Discipline-Specific Library Instruction


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Home >> Help & Services >> Research & Instruction >> Discipline-Specific Library Instruction

Subject Librarian Taught Discipline-Specific Library Instruction

This library instruction option is intended for subject-specific courses. We recognize that our campus subject areas have different information needs that leverage discipline-specific resources. For instance, the information you use is English is different than the information needed in Engineering. Our Subject Librarians are available to develop and teach subject-specific information literacy in various subject courses.

Lesson Examples

Seminar papers and literature reviews vary from discipline to discipline. Your subject librarian can introduce your students to discipline specific search strategies as well as guide them towards databases and library resources that researchers in your field typically use. This session focuses on using discipline-specific resources and strategies with the goal of completing a specific assignment.

This session will cover:

  • databases and search strategies

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn how to start research for a subject-specific seminar paper or lit review

While the previous option is intended to support students as they’re completing an assignment, this option of an overview is a more generic review of the scope and landscape of discipline tools and resources available to students. This session is ideal in a research methods seminar, or an introduction to the discipline course.

This session will cover:

  • subject tools and resources

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to articulate at least one subject specific tool or resource for future use

The previous two options focus on the scope of resources available for students in your discipline, but this session offers technical skills for searching in several chosen databases. Each database that the University Libraries provides access for is unique and often the search interface offers options tailored to the content within that database. In this session, you and your subject librarian will choose two or three databases for your students to learn about. Your subject librarian will introduce your students to some of these platform-unique options and give them time to practice using them.

This session will cover:

  • advanced search strategies in one or two subject-specific databases

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will recognize different search strategies needed to retrieve appropriate resources in a subject-specific database

OneSearch is a very powerful search tool, but most students struggle with specificity because there is such a difference between search practices on the Internet and within a discovery tool like OneSearch. In this session, you and your subject librarian will set up to three advanced search skills for your students to learn. These can include using Boolean operators, identifying controlled vocabulary, executing wildcard searches, and how to conduct precision searches.

This session will cover:

Learning Outcomes

Upper-level majors and graduate students need to know which journals are important in their field and how to locate them. This is not as simple as it was in the past when all journals came in print and were physically housed in the library. Today, many journals are only published electronically, and many more have both print and electronic access. In this session, your subject librarian can teach your students how to identify journals in their field and then how to access them regardless of their format.

While on the surface source evaluation seems like a generic skill, it can get quite nuanced as students proceed into advanced research projects. Source evaluation is conditionally constructed according to the goal of the researcher. In this session, your subject librarian can guide your students through the critical practice of source evaluation based on criteria they will need either for a project in your class or as researchers in the field.

From MatLab to Nvivo to Google Sketchup to In Design, the library provides access to an array of academic software applications that might be useful for your students to know. The librarians in your discipline are available to provide instructional support for these applications.


Request Discipline-Specific Library Instruction

Please contact your Subject Librarian to request a custom session for your class