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Designing Your Library Workshop

The University Libraries collaborates with instructors to instill lifelong learning skills that students can apply beyond graduation. Each quarter, librarians teach dozens of introductory research skill workshops to hundreds of undergraduate students in lower division, pre-major programs, such as the UW Expository Writing Program. Our procedures for requesting and planning an engaging session are explained below.


Effective Design of Library Research Workshops

  • Request your library instruction two weeks in advance
    This gives UW librarians time to work closely with UW instructors to plan research and information literacy sessions for undergraduate students who are completing research assignments. The library will schedule a workspace with library computer lab access so that students can participate in a hands-on learning workshop.
  • Attend a required pre-session meeting
    At least one week before the session, librarians and instructors discuss which activities would best suit the learning goals for the assignment. Sharing the assignment before this meeting ensures that librarians can tailor our plan to your class' specific goals.
  • Be present during the instruction session
    Your presence is essential in creating a collaborative, active learning environment.
  • Submit your request three weeks in advance to include a pre-session online active learning component via a Canvas module
    This module introduces students to important concepts before their session and gives students more time to put concepts to practice. Preparing students for the workshop beforehand ensures a more constructive use of our workshop time, and leaves students more prepared to complete their research assignments.


Library Research Workshop Topics

During your pre-session meeting, librarians and instructors will collaborate to identify which of the following areas to prioritize during the session:

  • Generating research topics and keywords
    In the early stages of their assignments, students can develop strategies for exploring their research topics with effective search terms.
  • Research question development
    Librarians can reinforce the attributes of a good research question and place it within the context of the research process.
  • Finding sources (ex. academic, popular, primary)
    Students will practice effective search methods in academic databases and learn how to access materials through UW Libraries.
  • Evaluating sources
    Through activities and discussion, students will become familiar with complex concepts like bias, scholarly conversation, and appropriateness of different types of sources.
  • Citation basics
    Librarians can introduce students to citation management tools like Zotero, RefWorks, and citation generators within databases.


Ongoing Support for Your Students

Librarians are available to work with your students one-on-one at any stage of the research process. They can stop by the research desks in Suzzallo or the Odegaard Writing & Research Center. For virtual help, click on Ask Us! on the library website.