Research Skills and Library Instruction - Boatwright Memorial Library - University of Richmond

Liaison librarians are committed to providing a comprehensive plan for integrating information literacy into the curriculum beginning in First Year Seminars, advancing through General Education courses, and culminating in upper division classes. Our plan is based on the Information Literacy
(IL) Framework for Higher Education from the Association for College and Research Libraries, which is endorsed by the American Association for Higher Education.

At the heart of the IL Framework are conceptual understandings that organize concepts and ideas about information, research, and scholarship into
a coherent whole. The rapidly changing higher education environment, along with the dynamic and often uncertain information ecosystem in which all of us work and live, requires new attention focused on foundational awareness and understanding of the information ecosystem’s complexity.

Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world

of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically. First-year students arrive with
a range of experiences with library resources, and liaison librarians provide library research sessions in all First Year Seminars in an effort to ensure all students have been exposed to a foundational level of library research strategies and resources.

As you teach courses throughout the curriculum requiring your students to complete assignments using information sources, students will benefit from course-integrated research instruction. Students develop their research skills, like other literacies, most effectively over time with increasingly difficult tasks. The liaison librarians are available to help you plan assignments that will engage students with research and develop a sense of inquiry.

Assignments that Develop Independent Research Skills

• Annotated bibliographies or literature reviews
• Finding (and comparing) book reviews
• Finding and interpreting statistics, documents, or

primary sources
• Tracing a theory or discovery through the

• Using a seed text to expand knowledge related to

a subject
• Distinguishing between popular and scholarly

treatments of a subject
• Finding information about a person, a place, an

event, an issue, an institution, an idea, or an object • Research papers or projects

Services for Faculty and Students

• Course-related instruction on developing and focusing a research question, developing a search strategy, identifying major research sources on a topic, finding journal articles, evaluating sources, and citing sources

• Instruction on searching UR’s electronic subscription databases

• Specialized research guides (Librarians can create course- or subject-specific research guides for your students)

• Individual appointments with students or faculty to assist them with identifying, selecting, using, and/ or evaluating library resources

• Help verifying citations or tracking down elusive information

To arrange library instruction for your students:

Contact your liaison librarian. See the list on the back of this brochure.

For more information, contact Carol Wittig, Head of Research and Instruction at 289-8459 or