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FYS: For Faculty: FYS for Faculty

Helping our first-year students find, evaluate, & use information effectively at the college level.

Your FYS Class in the Library

All FYS classes are required to attend 2 Library Information Literacy Sessions, at minimum, to meet the information literacy learning outcome for the FYS program.

But why?

  • Many first-year students have little to no library experience and are unprepared for college-level research, as evidenced by questions like: "Can we find everything on the library website, or are there some texts not online?”
  • Students prefer integrated sessions! Students shared:
    • Positive feedback from closely timed IL sessions that were integrated with their research
    • Complaints when library sessions were too far apart – forgot information when needed
    • Wishes that they attend IL session before their assignments are due!

  • These instruction sessions lay the foundation for student research across the curriculum, giving them the tools to perform research at an academic level
    • Interacting with students at their point of need increases their ability to recall and use college level research processes and skills in the future
    • Students are more successful when we provide them the opportunity to do research for your class assignments at the moment when they need IL assistance
  • By assigning a research project! Working towards a project motivates students to learn research skills/processes.
    See sample research assignments below.
  • By scheduling Library Sessions around your course’s research project timeline
  • By attending Library Sessions as a collaborator:
    • Address questions about research assignment requirements

    • Tie Library Sessions into your course – highlight points you’d like your students to focus on

    • Share your expert perspective about how to do college level research successfully with your students and to take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved with your students’ development with college level research

  • We ask that the following are completed before attending our 2nd Library Session:

    • Research assignments are shared with class

    • Students have research topics selected

1st Library Session:

Students engage in learning activities that lead them to interact with and explain:

  • The purpose for a variety of sources:  scholarly, popular, secondary, tertiary, and junk
  • What counts as “authoritative” sources inside and outside of academia
  • Introduction to the Library Catalog, "the stacks," and the building

see the First-Year Seminar (FYS): 1st Visit page for class slides and the Extras page for handouts.

2nd Library Session:

Students engage in learning activities that lead them to interact with and explain:

  • Introduction to Research Starter (database discovery system)
  • Refining keywords
  • What the peer-review process is (and why your professors deserve your sympathy)
  • Identifying scholarly articles & how to read them
  • How to make an InterLibrary Loan request
  • How to evaluate a source by analyzing its:  authority, reliability / validity, bias / purpose, and currency
  • Answer questions students asked in their post assessment questionnaire (from the 1st session)

see the First-Year Seminar (FYS): 2nd Visit page for class slides and the Extras page for handouts.

FYS classes must complete a total of TWO Library Sessions, at minimum (schedule more IL sessions if desired)

1st Library Session:

  • Scheduled for you by the First-Year Team

  • See your First Look presentation chart for your schedule

  • If you need to reschedule, please contact the IL Coordinator, Loretta Spangler (

2nd Library Session:

  • Needs to be scheduled by you (the faculty member) so it best fits the needs of your course, building on the information students learned in 1st IL session.

  • Faculty can sign up for IL instruction sessions by filling out and submitting the library's Instruction Request Form

  • October is the most popular time for scheduling the 2nd IL session. We recommend:

    • Securing your date by scheduling early, OR

    • Avoiding the rush by assigning a small/low-stakes research assignment in September (with the possibility of using this as a foundation for a larger assignment due later in the semester). See annotated bibliography assignment sample

Assess your student's research/information literacy skills with this handy rubric! The library has developed and improved its research rubric, over the course of 3 years. Each year’s results are used to improve our instruction efforts.

Please consider:

  • Incorporating the Information Literacy (IL) Rubric into your own grading rubric and sharing the IL results with the IL Coordinator, OR

  • Sending student end products to the IL Coordinator for double-blind assessment

Sample Research Assignments

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