Library Instruction

Teaching students about research, how to select research tools, how to evaluate sources and other essential research skills are core elements of the librarians’ role at Winona State University. In collaboration with faculty, the librarians design library instruction or research education sessions based on the needs of the students and the expectations for the course.

Instruction Checklist 

  1. Contact your liaison librarian to schedule a session. Librarians recommend at least 10 business days in advance to allow time to prepare for the session.
  2. Provide a copy of the research assignment and your syllabus to your librarian. This allows librarians to focus on the best library resources and databases.
  3. Share a list of resources you would like included in the session and on the course guide.
  4. Attend the session with your students. Your attendance emphasizes the importance of the session and allows students to ask you questions.

Library Instruction Services

Librarians customize sessions around your assignments. For optimal student impact, consider having your librarian visit your classes for shorter periods several times during the semester. Contact your librarian to discuss and schedule a session and a visit.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but please note times may vary by librarian. Ask your liaison for more details.

Tour the library (physically or virtually) and learn where key services are located. (20-30 minutes) 

Your department's library liaison can visit your classroom and provide a quick overview of the services offered at the Krueger Library. (time varies)

Learn how to access books, DVDs and other materials in the Krueger Library collection. (10-15 minutes)

Learn how to find journal articles in subject-specific databases. Instruction may include choosing databases, identifying and using keywords, using the Find It button, and accessing articles via interlibrary loan. (10-15 minutes per database; longer for keyword and Find It instruction) 

Learn how to use bibliographies to find additional articles. Instruction includes how to read a citation, finding articles using Periodical Titles List or Citation Linker and requesting articles via interlibrary loan. (15-20 minutes)

Learn how to evaluate the credibility of websites based on authority, purpose or intended audience, currency, objectivity and support. (10-25 minutes)

Learn the meaning of and differences between scholarly, trade, and popular journals. Also, learn how to narrow results to scholarly or peer-reviewed in databases. (10-20 minutes) 

Learn what plagiarism is, and how and when to cite sources for effective research and writing. (15-20 minutes) 

Learn the basics of APA, MLA, or Chicago style. This can be combined with work sessions for students to work on bibliographies. (25+ minutes) 

Learn the basics of RefWorks and set up a RefWorks account. Some librarians also offer instruction on Zotero; please check with your liaison for specific bibliographic management tool support. (20 minutes) 

Discuss the basic structure of a scholarly article in your field, and how to effectively read articles for assignments in your class. (15-20 minutes) 

Work on your assignment in class, with a librarian present and circulating. Students get their research questions answered at the point of need. Combine with another short instruction module for the best learning opportunity. (Time varies)