The librarians welcome the opportunity to work with the faculty in developing students' research skills. Read below to find out more about the ways we can accomplish this, and see some of the research guides we create for classes.
The Seeley G. Mudd Library, a partner in the teaching and learning mission of the college and conservatory of Lawrence University, seeks to prepare students for a lifetime of learning and independent inquiry. The library develops, organizes, and maintains collections to support and enhance the curriculum, provides access to information worldwide, helps members of the Lawrence community find the resources they need, and teaches the skills necessary to identify, locate, evaluate, and use those resources.
The statement above from the library's mission statement connects the work of the library to the work of the college. We start to make that connection from the students' first days at Lawrence; new students receive a brief introduction to the library during New Student Week. However, this introduction is optional, does not involve any detailed instruction and is certainly not sufficient to teach students all they need to know to do research in a given field, particularly given the wide variety of electronic resources available to researchers.
If you would like to introduce your students to college-level research or would like to provide more information on advanced research to upper-level students, there are several ways you might consider incorporating research instruction in your classes:
- make research instruction integral to any research methods courses you teach
- include advanced research instruction in senior seminars
- incorporate research instruction in your special topics courses
- suggest a research skills session as a possible activity for the academic student organization for your major
Research instruction at Lawrence is designed specifically to meet the needs of a particular class. Please contact a reference librarian at least a week in advance so that you will have an opportunity to plan your session together. The reference librarians often create electronic guides to accompany research instruction sessions. Please take a look at the Research Guides page; this will give you a quick idea of some of the material that might be covered, although the presentation of the material varies with the size of the group involved and the number of sessions scheduled for a given class.