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Faculty Guide: Improving Student Research

Library Instruction

Don't wait until it's too late to schedule a Library Instruction session for your students!

If you have a research based assignment, one of our friendly librarians can guide your students through the process of navigating library resources, formulating successful search strategies, evaluating the quality of their resources, & more. For instruction to be successful, faculty must attend the library instruction session & it is helpful if we receive a copy of your research assignment in advance.

Stop by the library or email Kathleen Pickens at to confirm availability. Please note: Face-to-face library instruction is only available on the main campus.

"Embedded Librarian" & Library Subject Guides

A "Virtual" Librarian For Your Class

If you require your students to complete a research-based assignment, consider requesting an "embedded" librarian. An embedded librarian is able to meet your students where they are--in your course site in Blackboard. Your librarian will adapt or create a library guide that will provide your students with the best starting points for their research & will be able to provide personalized one-on-one assistance via email, IM, or phone. After an initial consultation to determine how we can best serve your class's needs, you can opt to:

  • add the embedded librarian to your course site as a "course builder" so he/she can assist you with adding the library guide to your course & email the class research tips & reminders prior to due dates, OR
  • request an embedded librarian to create a tailored library course guide that you can embed into your Blackboard course site, OR
  • embed a current library guide into your Blackboard course. For instructions, watch this short video tutorial.
    Please note: While these library guides are publicly accessible & you may include them in your course without consulting us, it will help us help your students if we are aware of current research assignments & we may be able to suggest alternative resources that will better fit their needs.

Tips for Library Assignments

DO spend time becoming familiar with the library resources so that you can demonstrate them to your students. Our library guides include video tutorials for finding books and searching for articles; these will help you AND your students navigate college resources.

DO try completing the assignment yourself to make sure that it is doable. Make note of each step you took to get the desired result & include those in the instructions.

DO check your assignment instructions at the beginning of each semester to ensure that all listed resources are still accessible. The majority of our electronic resources (databases, films, ebooks) are not permanent purchases and are subject to replacement.

DO make sure that you are able to connect to Cincinnati State Library's resources from your school before devoting a class period to research. If your school's Internet filters block our databases or guides, it will need to be addressed with your systems administrator.

DO encourage students to seek help when they are working at home, either from our Getting Help page or from their local library.

**Please note: we have very limited staffing and are unable to handle your students sending us individual instant messages at the same time. Please take a few moments to show them how and where to get started (including watching one of the short video tutorials) and they will typically only need our assistance if they hit a snag.

DO NOT assume that because you're students are "tech savy" that they have any kind of computer research skills. Today's information-seekers tend to settle for the first result that pops up in Google, even if it is irrelevant. Academic research is a skill that requires the ability to properly search for, evaluate, and select the best resources to fit assignment needs.

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Johnnie Mae Berry Library

Phone: 513.569.1606
Text: 513.275.4466
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Berry Library • Room 170 Main Building • 3520 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45223-2690

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