UMass Boston

Library Instruction

What has traditionally been called library research has become increasingly complex in today’s world. In support of the teaching mission of the university, Healey Library offers a variety of programs and services to help UMass Boston students engage in key, lifelong, critical thinking and information-seeking skills. 

Custom, Course-Integrated Library Instruction Classes

A reference-instruction librarian will meet with your class virtually through Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, or any other platform that you might be using. Students will learn to maximize their information literacy skills and effectively use and evaluate relevant print and electronic resources. Each session is tailored to your students, the course subject, and your assignment.

How We Can Work With You

  • Information literacy instruction is most effective when it is fully integrated into the goals of your class.
  • You can schedule library instruction to coincide with the time when students are working on their research assignments and are most motivated to learn.
  • With your help, we can stay in touch with your students to provide follow-up assistance after the library session through email and individual consultations.

How We Do It

The following goals, based on ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, guide the design of all instructional modules developed for our program:

  • Teach students to define their information needs, identify and select appropriate sources of information, and to evaluate these sources in terms of relevance, reliability, and objectivity.
  • Teach students strategies, as well as mechanical skills, for information seeking.
  • Teach students information seeking as a process that involves critical thinking and decision making.
  • Integrate active learning techniques, including group and individual activities and database searching.

Tips for an Effective Library Instruction Experience

The following provisions can help us create an engaging learning atmosphere and conduct relevant library instruction:

  • Provide students with their assignment before the library instruction session. Library sessions are most effective after students have chosen research topics and when they have an immediate and concrete need for the information literacy skills we teach.
  • Provide us with students' paper topics in advance of the library session so that they can be used as examples during the instruction session.
  • Provide us instructions about the types of resources needed to complete assignment. For example: books, popular articles and/or peer-reviewed articles, newspaper articles, etc.

How to Get Started & Get More Information

Effective library instruction takes time to prepare and is in great demand. To ensure that your students will get the instruction they need when they need it, please contact us at least two weeks in advance.

Email us for additional information or complete the Research Workshop Request Form to schedule a virtual workshop.