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Library Instruction: Library Assignments

Library Assignment Check List

Schedule an Instruction Session

  • A library instruction session can help your students become familiar with the resources available in the library. Sessions are customized to meet the exact needs of your particular assignment. In addition to library resources, instruction sessions can also serve to orient your students to a variety of things such as the research process, searching the Internet, and evaluating information sources. Give the library plenty of notice when getting ready to schedule a library instruction session.

"No Websites" and "Print Only" Assignments

  • More and more resources are becoming available only in electronic format. The only way for students to access certain scholarly content is by using an online database or accessing the information on the Internet. Stress the importance of the quality of the information rather than focusing on its format

Check the Availability of Library Materials

  • Check to make sure that the Library actually has the resources that you are expecting your students to use. Contact the Library about your assignment well in advance of giving it to your students. We will be glad to go through the assignment and let you know if the Library does not have the resources listed.

Embed the Library into Your Moodle Course

  • Provide appropriate links to Library webpages in your Moodle courses. If there is an appropriate research guide (LibGuide) for your course or assignment, you can add the link to your course. The guides are meant to lead your students to quality print and online resources. If there is not a guide that covers your area or you would like a customized guide for a specific assignment, contact Angela Davis at (252) 493-7366 or

Avoid Giving the Same Topic to a Large Class or to Multiple Classes

  • Avoid giving the same topic to a large class. Library materials on that particular topic will quickly become checked out or misplaced. If you cannot avoid assigning one topic, the best way to ensure that the materials will be there for all your students is to put them on reserve.

Avoid Scavenger Hunts

  • Scavenger or trivia hunts are typically not the best way to teach students how to use the library and conduct research. If you can, please avoid questions which ask for obscure facts without giving the student the research methodology they will need in order to successfully complete the assignment.

Get Help with a Library Assignment

  • Librarians can help instructors provide a list of useful sources, or types of sources, to be used for a particular assignment. This list can be made available as a webpage or handout. Working with a librarian, you can verify whether or not the library owns the particular sources your class will need. If you would like help designing a library assignment, please contact a Reference Librarian at (252) 493-7360.

Use Library Reserves

  • If there are specific sources the whole class will need to consult for quick information, you may want to put those sources on reserve. When an item is on reserve, you can specify how long the item can be checked out or request that the item stays in the library.