Research Instruction

Renfro Library offers a variety of research instruction options including:

    1. A standardized freshman instruction program
    2. Custom sessions geared for specific departments and courses
    3. Assistance in designing assignments that incorporate information literacy elements
    4. Guidelines for research portfolios for senior seminar /capstone courses
    5. One-on-one research consultation sessions for students involved in advanced research or those identified as needing additional help with the research process

Freshman Instruction Program

FYS 111

    Overview of library resources, services and policies, including a tour of the library and the library’s webpage.

ENG 112, Session One

    Student Learning Outcomes
    SLO 1: Students will understand the range of types of information resources available, which tools to use to search for each type of resource and how to locate/obtain the items.
    SLO 2: Students will be able to select “best sources” based on evaluation of authority, accuracy, bias, currency, scope and relevance.

ENG 112, Session Two

    Student Learning Outcomes
    SLO 1: Students will understand how to use scholarly encyclopedias and other reference sources to inform the development of their research focus/question/thesis.
    SLO 2: Students will be able to conduct basic topical searches in the library catalog and a general periodical literature database.

Discipline and Course Specific Instruction

Librarians collaborate with course instructors to design library research instruction that will address the information literacy needs of students in specific departments and courses. These sessions can consist of one or multiple meetings and be composed of any of the following:

    Demonstrations of specific resources and search methods
    Hands-on guided discovery activities that lead students through specific resources
    Unstructured lab sessions for planning and conducting literature searches on specific topics with librarians available for assistance

Click here to view a sample guided discovery activity.

To request a session, contact Shannon Lucas,, x1391) at least 2 weeks in advance of the date on which you wish to have your instruction session.

Research Portfolios

Research portfolios help guide students through and document the results of each step in the research process. They help students allocate time appropriately and assure that they are doing original work.

Click here to view a basic list of the elements of a research portfolio

For more information on research portfolios, contact Shannon Lucas,, x1391.

Personal Consultations

This service is offered for students engaged in senior seminars or other major research assignments, as well as those identified as needing additional help with research skill building.

To make an appointment, students can contact Dan Koster, x1454, Shannon Lucas, x1391, or Rachel Mitchell, x1443.

Library Research Assignments

If you are giving your students an assignment(s) requiring the use of library resources, we would greatly appreciate if you would consider the following guidelines:

    Check on the availability of appropriate library resources and/or collaborate with a librarian to design an assignment at which your students can succeed
    Provide the library with a copy of the assignment guidelines to be kept at the reference desk so that we can be sure to provide appropriate guidance to students
    Let us know how much guidance you wish us to provide to your students
    If our resources are limited, consider putting items on reserve for the course
    If the resources are not available in-house, interlibrary loan (ILL) is an option, but keep in mind that the U.S. Postal Service is involved, so advance planning is required. ILLs usually take about two weeks to arrive.

Librarians are available to help with library research assignment design. To discuss an assignment, contact Shannon Lucas, x1391. Copies of assignment guidelines can be submitted via email or dropped off at the reference desk.