Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Instructional Services Program

Today’s students have access to thousands of resources – more than ever before. Research challenges are often not ones of access but knowing where to start and how to proceed. The University Libraries’ Instructional Services actively provides students, faculty and staff with professional assistance and hands-on experience with library resources in group settings.

Last fiscal year 2005-2006, over 15,000 individuals participated in library instruction during 828 group sessions. Undergraduates, graduates, and faculty from across the curriculum find value in the programs as demonstrated by a glimpse of participating departments during the past few weeks:

Architecture Criminal Justice English Chemistry English Management
Educational Psychology Political Science

Potential university students of tomorrow from regional high schools and home-schooled students also take advantage of instructional programs to introduce research skills and resources. Groups from Jay County High School, Blue River Valley, and Ball State’s Burris Laboratory School are among the recent visitors.

Session content ranges from an introduction to library resources and research services for new undergraduates to custom-made workshops to help upper-level students with specific assignments or subject specialties. Librarian and classroom faculty collaborations insure sessions meet assignment needs and class expectations.

Library instruction participants have opportunities to work with information professionals free from interruption in state-of-the-art electronic classrooms in addition to having the resources of the University Libraries within reach.

Feedback from participants indicate their appreciation for a service that helps students better their research skills and meet their informational needs. A faculty member wrote, “The sessions were very well organized and flexible enough to allow students to get specific information. I plan to bring all my research classes to the training.”

While most instruction sessions are linked with specific courses, Instructional Services librarians also address general topics. Thesis Research In a Nutshell is one such example that is very popular with graduate students.

For those who use the University Libraries’ resources remotely, library instruction and assistance is available through interactive online tutorials, chat sessions, and video clips. Persons seeking individual help may request 30-minute one-on-one research consultations with reference and/or subject specialists through the Reference by Appointment program.

For information on library instruction or to schedule a session, visit the Instructional Services homepage link at or call Jeremiah Kinney, Library Teaching Assistant, at (765) 285-8017. For information on research consultations, visit the Ask a Librarian link on the same homepage or call Diane Calvin, Head of Information Services, at (765) 285-3327.


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