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Faculty & Staff Resources: Librarians in the Classroom

Book an Instruction Session

Book an Instruction Session

Use the form on this page to book a library instruction session with one of the librarians.Instruction sessions are generally 45 mintues to one hour in length but depending on the assignment, the sessions can be shorter in duration.

Library instruction is most effective when students have a research paper or project assigned to them, so we require that you include your assignment on the form so that we can tailor the session appropriately. Course instructors are expected to be present during the instruction session. 

You may also book a session by contacting us directly Linda Kaufmann or Pamela Contakos.

Embedded Librarian Program

The Embedded Librarian Program - Overview

The Embedded Librarian Program is designed for classes that have a research component requiring library resources. The Embedded Librarian program provides courses with a designated librarian who will work with your students throughout the semester.

Prior to the semester, a librarian will partner with a faculty member to consult on a course-specific assignment(s) focused on research and information literacy. There are 3 components to the embedded library program. They can be combined or used individually:

  1. The librarian will visit the class to provide instruction
  2. be embedded into Canvas,
  3. and be available for individual appointments with students.

Librarian Class Visit(s)

The librarian will visit  your class during the semester to focus on different aspects of research and information literacy, This visit may be one class session or broken up into 2-3 shorter sessions depending on the nature of the research assignment and the flow of the course.

Embedded Into Canvas

For this component a discussion forum is added to the class and customized by the librarian per the requirements of the curriculum and/or the faculty member's preferences. The librarian then posts relevant instructions, sources, and answers to student questions. Students interact with their assigned librarian via the library forum, or email throughout the semester. The librarian is available weekdays only, but will respond to posts added over the weekend early in the week.

Individual Appointments

Students can schedule individual research appointments with a librarian to search the databases together, get research tips, and learn more about vetting sources.  This URL can be put in Canvas http://mcla.libcal.com/appointments/  for students to schedule an appointment or contact Pamela Contakos for a widget that can be added to your Canvas course.

Different Models for Using the Embedded Librarian Program

A Semester-Long Librarian

The semester long Embedded Librarian is best used in a course with a heavy research component. With this option, the librarian works with the instructor and the class on a regular basis, either in the classroom, online, or both.  Here are some highlights of this method:

  • The librarian will consult closely with the instructor to find the best times for classroom visits and online interaction with the students.
  • The librarian will visit the classroom for short instruction sessions focusing on different topics such as scholarly vs. popular articles, keyword choice and advanced searching, and evaluating of resources on the web or for one longer instruction session focusing on sources and methods specific to the topic.
  • The librarian will maintain a presence in Canvas throughout the entire semester. Here is an example of how the embedded librarian program can work in Canvas:  In the first few weeks, students are required to post their chosen research topics to the library forum. The librarian then responds to each student post with suggestions for narrowing or broadening the topic, and also suggests specific databases and keywords to help direct the students to the most relevant library resources. As the students continue to research their topics, they post to the library forum for directions and assistance in using the library whenever they have questions. At mid-term, the students are again required to post to the forum with their preliminary bibliography. The librarian is able to point them to more valid sources if needed. Other posts throughout the semester include citation style, evaluating sources, and how to search for information on the web

The frequent interactions between students and librarian enable the students to gain a better understanding of navigating the library, and in the end, result in better utilized scholarly sources for their paper.
 
A Guest Librarian

Sometimes you have one research assignment but not a research intensive course. In this case, you can use the Embedded Librarian Program for just that one assignment. The librarian comes in as a "guest lecturer" in an online forum on Canvas and for a visit to the class. Over the course of the designated week, the librarian posts information useful to the assignment like the best databases to use, searching techniques, and evaluating information. The librarian also responds to student questions and adds comments to steer discussions in useful directions.

While a traditional semester-long embedded librarian may be unnecessary for some classes, bringing in the librarian's expertise for a single in-depth forum can be a great way to introduce students to information literacy concepts, as well as give them an introduction to the library.

An Individual Consultation

There are two ways you can use the individual consultation option, online or in person.

For the online option, the instructor creates a discussion forum with a component of the research and writing process. An assignments is to post the proposed paper topic and research question to the Embedded Librarian in the library forum and conduct some basic research with recommendations from the Embedded Librarian. Students can report back to the faculty member and discuss what they found, what recommendations they were given, and how it will be helpful to their research process. The library consult and the reporting can be graded requirements for that week.

For the in person option, the student meets with the librarian via a one on one appointment to discuss the paper topic and do research in the databases together. Like the online option, students can then report back to the faculty member and discuss what they found, what recommendations they were given, and how it will be helpful to their research process. The library consult and the reporting can be graded requirements for that week.

For research intensive courses, working with an Embedded Librarian provides students with one-on-one assistance as they work on their papers. A library consult early on becomes an essential part of the process, and enables the students’ maximum exposure to quality sources. By requiring the students to consult with the Embedded Librarian, the faculty member knows that students are receiving professional assistance and students become more comfortable asking questions of the librarian.

Program Contact and Sign-Up

Pamela Contakos
Digital Services Librarian
phone: 413.662.5542
email: P.Contakos@mcla.edu