Instruction Services


Consulations with librarians are…

  • For individuals or small groups
  • For in-depth help with library resources
  • Approximately 30 minutes to one hour in length
  • Available at Steenbock Library, or other convenient locations

To arrange for a consultation, you may contact your Department’s Liaison Librarian.

For an overview of basic library resources, we offer drop-in workshops throughout the semester.

A consultation may be useful if…

  • You are beginning work on your dissertation/thesis or a new research project and would like help in selecting and using library resources specific to your area of research.
  • Your group wants to purchase and use a citation manager, like EndNote, and would like an overview of the various aspects of such programs.
  • You have a specific class assignment and you are having trouble finding journal articles or books for your topic.
  • You have attended a basic workshop on a library resource and have a specific search problem not covered in the class.
  • You need advice on using library resources from a remote location, such as your office, lab or home.

Course-Related Workshops

Collaboration between librarians and instructors is important. Our librarians will team with you to develop workshops tailored to your course and the needs of your students.

Most workshops have hands-on computer time so students can immediately practice new skills, while library staff provide individual feedback and guidance. Sessions are most effective when tied closely to an assignment requiring library research.

Contact Barbara Sisolak at (608) 263-2385.

Library Course Pages

Library Course Pages (LCPs) are created by librarians, in collaboration with faculty and instructors, and tailored to a specific course’s needs and assignments. LCPs may be accessed from MyUW or Learn@UW.

Depending on the course, the Library Course Page may contain:

  • electronic reserves links
  • a list of print materials on reserve for the class in campus libraries
  • links to research tools such as journal databases and Web sites
  • tips and techniques for making library research faster and more efficient
  • Refworks, for help in formatting bibliographies
  • contact information for personal assistance

To request an LCP for your course contact Barbara Sisolak, (608) 263-2385 or one of our liaison librarians.

For more information on Library Course Pages, including examples, visit the Libraries’ Web site.

The Undergraduate Communication Requirement

The Undergraduate Communication Requirement is a two-course series that all undergraduates at the UW-Madison must complete. Both Course A and Course B of this requirement include an information literacy component.

If you are teaching a course with a communications requirement and want more information regarding the information literacy requirements of the course, please contact Barbara Sisolak, Steenbock Library & Information Literacy Instruction Program Coordinator at (608) 263-2385.

Library Session Components

A typical library session would cover some of these components. Library staff and teaching staff work together to find the most appropriate mix for the purpose of the class.

  • Overview of relevant library resources, both print and electronic
  • Library search strategy
  • Finding and locating books
  • Finding and locating journal articles
  • Finding Internet resources
  • Critical evaluation and selection of resources
  • Specialized resources when appropriate, such as RefWorks, Statistics resources, Presentation Software, etc.

Guidelines for Planning a Library Instruction Session

  • We can and do provide instruction in classrooms outside the library, when it is appropriate and possible. We recommend sessions in library classrooms however, where equipment is available for computer demonstrations and hands-on database searching.
  • Library sessions should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. The beginning of each semester are a very busy time for the library instruction program, so having an alternative time in mind when you schedule is helpful.
  • Instructional session are more effective if done in conjunction with a specific assignment that will give students opportunities to practice the skills and strategies taught. Librarians can assist in designing an assignment.
  • The timing of library sessions is crucial to student motivation and learning. Sessions should be timed to coincide with occasions when students will be working on their library assignments.
  • The presence and involvement of faculty and teaching staff in the planning and teaching of a library session are critical for success. Students are more engaged when the instructor participates in the session.