Introducing First-Years to Library Research

The Library has assembled this page for faculty members teaching first-year seminars. It is a guide to services and resources helpful for introducing first-years to college-level research.

We hope that you will call on one of our librarian liaisons to assist you in teaching your students information-seeking skills. The library's instruction program is designed to be a collaborative effort between librarians and faculty members. Whether by conducting a general library session for your class, building links and guides into a Blackboard page, working with you to do your own library instruction, or any combination, liaisons welcome the opportunity to facilitate students' mastery of these skills.

As part of our joint effort, librarians and the faculty Library Committee developed an Information Literacy statement that describes skills and abilities that we believe define an information literate person. First-year students should learn to:

  • identify an appropriate research strategy and plan of action;
  • select the best research tool or tools for a specific task;
  • use efficient search queries;
  • distinguish between popular & scholarly publications;
  • consider authority, bias, accuracy, and other criteria when selecting source material;
  • know what constitutes plagiarism and when ideas need to be attributed;
  • know how to obtain items not owned by the library;
  • recognize the need to seek assistance.

The following links will help support your efforts to introduce first-years to basic information-seeking skills:

  • Research Help
    - starting a research project; searching for books and articles; obtaining materials not owned by the library; citation norms and policies; general library and branch information
  • Indexes & Databases
    - a subject list of the library's electronic and print periodical indexes