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Useful Links for Students
The Library's website has a number of useful links about our services and spaces. We encourage you to share these with students.
Hours and methods for contacting a librarian for research help
Finding Books on the Shelf
Students struggling with locating physical books in the building. Call numbers are complex (and new) - this guide breaks down the steps of tracking down books in our building
Quick Answers to Common Questions
This guide covers a lot of common questions that all students - especially first years - have. Direct your students to this guide and encourage them to explore it on their own.
Research guides are incredibly useful, providing students with recommended resources and methods for specific disciplines and courses.
A Guide to the Library
This in-depth guide contains a wealth of information about our library in particular and conducting research in general, including information for students about how knowledge is created and shared.
This guide provides an excellent overview of how and why to fact check.
Fighting Fake News
Use the resources on this page to help students understand the complexities of discussions about fake news, including ways to evaluate claims.
Gain Familiarity with the Library as a Space
The Gustavus Library is a popular study and gathering space for students. We have study spaces that fit a variety of preferences and needs, ranging from private rooms to the super quite third floor to group study tables. Here are some ideas to get students into the building itself and help them feel like the library is indeed their space. Bonus - the more familiar the students are with the space, the more comfortable they'll feel using library resources.
Feel free to download and edit these assignment prompts:
Collaborative Library Tour
Assign students to gather information and lead a Collaborative Tour; this also helps them practice communication skills.
Provide students with prompts to help them with a Library Exploration of our online & physical spaces.
FTS connections: the collaborative tour is an easy way to give students an experience speaking in front of their classmates.
Learn about Library Resources
Students also need to start seeing the Library as a place that provides the resources to help them do research well. These exercises and ideas encourage students to explore the wealth of information - and help - available to them. These ideas also provide a solid foundation that helps students conduct more sophisticated research.
A basic form that prompts students to identify research questions related to a project and space to record suggestions from the librarian; please share our hours and contact methods with students: https://gustavus.edu/library/reference_question.php
Finding Books and Articles
Walks students through the process of identifying search terms and initial steps in search both the library catalog and databases. This link about reading call numbers will help: https://gustavus.edu/library/research/findbooks.php
FTS connections: Helping students connect with research materials - as well as librarians who can help them with their research - enables students to support their arguments.
Work with Sources
Students benefit from guided exposure to the basic formats in which scholars communicate. They need guidance learning how to work with sources. Here are some exercises and suggestions to use/adapt.
FTS connection: Helping students explore research materials equips them to both make and support arguments.
Speed Date a Book or Article
Helps students reflect on source choice in addition to teaching them how to ascertain the main point of a source without having to read the whole thing.
Comparing News and Science Articles
By looking at a news report about a scientific study, plus the study itself, students explore how different types of sources function; they also gain a sense of how to use more popular sources to find scholarly ones.
Walks students through the process of doing deep, meaningful evaluation of sources, including websites.
Idea Mapping (advanced)
Provides students with a way of thinking about their topics visually, including how their sources inform their arguments; also prompts students to think of the gaps in their research.
Compiling a Preliminary Bibliography (advanced)
Guides students in a systematic way through the steps of doing research.
Citation Trace (advanced)
Provides an overview for students on the hows and whys of searching via bibliographic traces.
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