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Research & Instruction

Library Instruction

Library instruction in spring 2021

In spring 2021, librarians will continue to support Vassar’s in-person, online, and hybrid courses through a variety of online methods. Although we will not be able to offer traditional workshops in library or campus classrooms, we are eager to consult with faculty about the many options that are available for synchronous and asynchronous library instruction.

To start the conversation about library instruction:

Contact your liaison librarian


email researchhelp@vassar.edu and we will match you with a librarian or archivist to discuss possibilities relevant to your course.

Please get in touch even if you haven’t previously scheduled a library workshop or spoken to a librarian about your research assignments. The Vassar College Libraries have fantastic resources, including ebooks, databases, and collections of primary sources, and it can be difficult to keep track of and navigate them all! Librarians can help you identify materials that will support your students’ research and coursework, whether they’re on campus or learning from home.

Below are some examples of library instruction possibilities for online or hybrid learning--and we hope that you will share your ideas, too! Let’s work together to design meaningful and creative experiences that enrich students’ research practices and resonate with their learning in- and outside of the classroom.

Library instruction for online or hybrid learning

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Library instruction for online or hybrid learning

Class session: A librarian meets with your class using Zoom. This can happen synchronously, either during or outside of class time, and can range from a short introduction (10-15 minutes), a full class session, multiple class sessions, or anything in between. 

Video: Librarians can create brief videos on topics, resources, and research strategies relevant to your course. These videos are good for asynchronous learning, outside of class time. 

Online guide: Librarians can create online guides to resources and research strategies relevant to your course/assignment. These guides are available through the VCL website and can be added to your Moodle site. 

Research assignment: A librarian can help you design (or re-design) a research assignment that makes use of the libraries' rich online collections. In addition to ebooks and online journals, we also have a great variety of online primary source collections. 

Collaborative project: A librarian can help you develop a collaborative project for students that incorporates library and research skills. Examples include: group bibliographies in Zotero, online exhibits, and zines. 

Skill-building activity: Librarians can create activities to help students develop their research skills. Examples include: concept mapping and keywords, database "scavenger hunts," and research process journals.