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Teaching Research to Upper-Level Students: Teach Research with the Library

Library Partnerships

There are countless ways to partner with Library faculty members in order to teach students how to do college-level research well; these approaches also instill the skills and habits of mind for lifelong learning. You'll find a number of approaches here, ranging from fairly passive to more active. These approaches can be used separately or in combination. Please contact any librarian to discuss further. This kind of work is the core of what we do and we are here to help you and your students!

In addition to the resources on this page, you will want to consult the following guides for more information, including assignment ideas for teaching the research process and developing information literacy competencies in students.

For Your Students

Include the following language about Reference Services in your syllabus:

​​Research Help - You can always get help with your research at the library. Reference librarians will help you find information on a topic, develop search strategies for papers and projects, search library catalogs and databases, and provide assistance at every step. Drop-ins and appointments are both welcome. Visit www.gustavus.edu/library/reference_question.html for hours, location, and more information.


Add your liaison librarian's contact information to your syllabus and encourage students to contact the librarian directly. 


Encourage your students to make use of Reference Services, including online research guides in their area of study. We also have a set of Library Video Tutorials that might be useful.


Refer students to reference librarians at any stage in the research process - students respond when you encourage them to visit with us! Bonus: you can refer students directly to reference librarians via Starfish.

For You

Arrange for a librarian to teach ​an instruction session (or more!) during your class time to help your students do research for any given purpose. While these are often held in the main library classroom, we can also come to you. See the Library Instruction Sessions tab (above) for more information.


Request an online course guide for one (or more!) of your courses; while we usually create guides in conjunction with library instruction sessions, we are also happy to create guides for you to share with your students without a corresponding instruction session.


Consult with a librarian on your research assignments, including design and scaffolding. You can also arrange for a librarian to email your students with research tips related to their research projects throughout the semester


Hold ongoing conversations between your department or program and the Library to discuss how and where your students learn to do research within your curriculum and where these approaches can be improved. See Research Across the Curriculum below.

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