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Instruction Program

Designed to be a collaborative effort between faculty and librarian liaisons, the library's instruction program provides individual and class instruction.

Why Participate?

  • 70% has been the average score on The Information Literacy Assessment,

    "[the I.L. assessment] raised doubts for me as to whether my high school education prepared me fully for college research papers." -student

    one of the College's annual Placement Exams administered to first-years; it measures basic and intermediate knowledge of library research skills.

  • "for over three-fourths (84%) of the students surveyed, the most difficult step of the course-related research process was getting started." -2010 Project Information Literacy Student Survey

  • 75% of 71 independent- and honors-project Bowdoin seniors surveyed indicated that they learned their library research skills from a class taught by a reference librarian

Since the inception of the program, 65%-70% of first-year seminars included a research session

  • "… incorporate into the course an introduction to information sources and to critical evaluation of source materials." -Faculty Guidelines for FY Seminars

What We Offer

We have developed a multi-faceted, collaborative approach by incorporating traditional, innovative and interactive instruction services to assist students in developing skills to find, evaluate, analyze, and ethically use research resources.

  • Course-related instruction session
    Librarians work with faculty to develop sessions that focus on a

    "[In the class I learned] how to be efficient in my searches and … where to look for scholarly articles instead of just Googling stuff." -student

    specific assignment or project to enrich the learning experience. In your classroom or in our electronic classrooms, students are introduced to strategies for efficiently and effectively using the most relevant library resources and to a helpful and knowledgeable librarian.

  • Guides to research (http://libguides.bowdoin.edu/)
    Designed for general subject areas or customized for specific classes, the guides present 24/7 access to the most relevant research resources, research strategies, and information about the library’s services and resources.

  • First-year seminar instruction
    First-year library instruction at the seminar level provides an essential foundation

    "Thanks again for the super instructive library session. As much as I fancy myself fluent in the research process, I too learned a few things!" -faculty member

    for students’ understanding of how academic literature is organized and used. This solid grounding will serve students throughout their entire Bowdoin careers and form the basis for developing more advanced library research skills in their major fields of study.

  • First-year librarian program
    Initiated in the summer of 2011, the First Year Librarian Program assigns a librarian to each first-year student in order to assist with the transition from a high school to a college library and to introduce them to library services and resources early in their college careers. Faculty are urged to contact the FY librarian if they have a student advisee or in their courses who would benefit from additional support.

  • Individual research consultations
    Beginning research help, assisting with research throughout a large project, or just some extra support as needed, librarians conducted over 350 research consultations 2010-2011.   We encourage students and faculty to meet with librarians individually to get targeted assistance with projects, assignments, locating materials, questions, or suggestions for re-invigorating the research process.





    Contact your liaison to schedule a class, appointment, or simply to find out more about our instruction program.