Library Services

Instructional Support for Faculty

The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries' Instructional Services Program encourages collaboration between librarians and teaching faculty as a vital part of the educational process to help students learn research, critical thinking, and information literacy skills. The library environment is a rapidly changing one and librarians can help keep assignments current with the most appropriate terminology, sources, and research tools. In addition, consulting with librarians before you give a library assignment to your class is a good way to ensure that resources are available and accessible so that you are able to reach the goals and objectives that you have set for your course.

The reference librarians will work with faculty/instructors to provide a class session covering information literacy and library research skills tailored to the specific course or assignment. Please use our instruction request form to schedule a session for your class.

Common problems with library assignments:

Library Skills
Students often lack basic library research skills. They may not understand terms like “peer reviewed” or that e-books and e-journals are not considered “Internet sources.”
When students have assignments that require an entire class to use the same resources, they may become frantic when the items they need are not available or are constantly being used by others. This can even be true for online resources, as many e-books have usage restrictions. Sometimes it is helpful to the students if an instructor places such materials on reserve.
Even when directions seem to be clear, students often have trouble understanding the assignment. They may need verbal explanations, suggestions of sources to use, or current citations for specific works.
Scavenger Hunts
Students may become frustrated if the assignment does not seem relevant to the course. They may feel that they are being asked to find obscure facts that do not truly give them the opportunity to evaluate sources or learn problem solving skills.
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