Written by Jessica Thorlakson, ALES Librarian
The University of Alberta Libraries is a strong supporter of teaching and information literacy. As a Teaching Library, we provide quality services and resources to facilitate the teaching, learning, and research needs of our user community.
Librarians (liaison or subject librarians) responsible for specific subject areas are heavily involved with instruction. A large part of their work involves teaching in many forms such as, library workshops, one-on-one consultations for research, and curriculum-based lectures.
Library sessions are typically one-shot workshops that cover a myriad of topics. Librarians teach everything from effectively searching databases for literature, citation manager tools, research metrics, research data management, and predatory publishing.
In many instances, librarians are embedded in the curriculum and collaborate with instructors to teach students information literacy skills and how to navigate over 1000 library resources to complete assignments!
In the visualizations below you can see some of our instruction statistics from 2013- 2017. The fall term sees an influx of students, so naturally it is the library’s busiest month for instruction, as we reach out to our users and provide an orientation about our services and resources. While much of our instruction is considered “course based” (in fact, 80% of all library instruction are embedded within the curriculum), we do offer instructional sessions outside of regular courses.
These sessions may cover similar content, providing more opportunities to pick up information literacy skills such as developing good keywords for a search, or additional topics relevant to research or campus life, such as how to manage a unique identifier for your researcher profile that distinguishes your work from others (e.g. ORCID), or predatory publishing. These non-course based sessions also offer greater flexibility to offer longer sessions, such as the monthly three hour training sessions on systematic review searching.
In the 2016-17 academic year, we taught over 700 library instructional sessions and we’re excited to see what this year brings!
Are you teaching in the upcoming academic year? You’re invited to contact your subject librarian to discuss library instruction options for your courses. Subject librarians welcome opportunities to work with instructors like you!
To learn more about the key components of our instructional program, refer to the Teaching and Learning Concept Paper.