First Year Seminar

"Discover and practice sound principles of information literacy and effective use of information technology by becoming familiar with library resources and staff." FIRST YEAR SEMINAR: COURSE LEARNING GOALS

Librarians typically provide FYS students with orientation sessions in the fall semester and more in-depth, topic-related instruction in the spring semester.

The fall sessions are an "Introduction to Information Literacy at your Library". This introduction can involve several mini-sessions that include orientation to the building(s), the libraries' web site, general online indexes and journals; or, we can do an orientation session in one class period. It is highly recommended that you incorporate an assignment with these sessions. Students learning and understanding of their introduction session at the library will enhance their information literacy skills.

The spring FYS sessions are more varied and involved, with helping students begin the process of researching and understanding the scholarly articles, books and other materials needed for their research project. Guides by Course web pages can be created at this time to be tailored to an individual class's needs. These pages typically include information on both print and electronic resources with links to resources for citing materials. These web pages can be updated as needed throughout the semester, and students can use it as an active and dynamic "base" for their literature research needs. Guides by Subject web pages are also available as well as a quick list of databases for students to use when doing research.

Library Instruction classes will allow the student to:

  • analyze and evaluate research sources
  • understand scholarly vs. non-scholarly publications
  • develop search strategies for specific assignments
  • use of the catalog and online periodical indexes
  • find specialized resources relevant to the discipline
  • understand the basics on conducting research (e.g. topic narrowing, using primary sources, citation, etc.)

The librarians are always willing to work with instructors in helping them incorporate the library into their assignments. For potential ideas, see FYS and Library Assignment Ideas.

Also, have your students schedule a Research Appointment (make it part of their assignment). Read what faculty and students have said about research appointments:

"My students reported that their individual meetings with librarians were very helpful and an excellent use of their time. Many of them had much greater clarity about where they could find good sources for their research papers after those meetings, and quite a few recognized the importance of sufficiently narrowing their topics after their meetings as well. Several students went back for a second meeting when they got stuck in their research. My hope is that they will regularly seek out librarians for future projects now that they know what a great resource they are."
Jeanne Cook,
Professor Communication Department

"The library staff really helped me get started on my research because they provided insightful information on different ways to search for articles and books pertaining to my research topic. They also showed me how to use different tools on the library web site and gave me a lot of ideas for key words to use in my searches."
Lauren Furmanski,
CSB Student