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Instruction - Mortensen

The Mortensen Library's Reference Services staff provides assistance and informal instruction to users in the library. Formal instruction in library research consists of:

Research Tutorial
Developed as a basic introduction to using the library, this nine-part online Research Tutorial:

  • Introduces the concept of focusing a research topic and developing search statements to use with electronic.
  • Teaches the basics of using the University Libraries' catalog to find books and other materials.
  • Demonstrates use of general and subject-specific databases.
  • Introduces internet search engines.
  • Discusses the need to evaluate information sources.
  • Provides examples of citation styles. Each section includes online exercises. A printed worksheet for student use is available for downloading from the first page of the Tutorial.

Formal Instruction
Reference librarians will design a presentation for your class, addressing research tools and techniques needed for a specific class or assignment.

  • The presentation will build on the basic skills presented in the Research TutorialStudents must complete at least Parts 1 through 4 of the Tutorial before the presentation. Completion of the entire Tutorial is recommended.
  • Classes usually take place during a single class period in the Woods Family Center for Learning and Instruction classroom (L203C), which is equipped with a projector and 16 computers for students to use during the session. Extended or multiple sessions are possible.
  • Since students will have time during the class to use the resources, they must have a research assignment and at least a general topic to research.

To ensure a successful class:

  • Attendance of instructor is required and active involvement in the session is requested.
  • Instructors can ask the questions that students may not.
  • Instructors provide guidance about the research assignments and can provide assistance to students during the practice time.

Library Work Sessions

  • Faculty may request time for their students to engage in faculty-led research in the library as a group.

Please follow these guidelines when making arrangements:

  • Contact the Reference Services Department (860.768.4142) a minimum of two working days in advance. Additional notice is recommended, as the number of classes exceeds capacity at certain times.
  • Students should have completed the Research Tutorial before the session. A formal instruction session (see above) is also advised.
  • Work sessions will be scheduled in the Woods Family Center for Learning and Instruction whenever possible. This facility has 16 computers.
  • A librarian will be available for consultation and to provide assistance but not intensive instruction.
  • Because of limited space, class meetings in the library without prior scheduling are not permitted. Unscheduled classes will be asked to leave.

Individual Faculty Instruction

  • Faculty may request individual instruction sessions by contacting reference librarians. Your Graduate Assistant is welcome to accompany you. Call 860.768.4142 for an appointment.

Reference Consultations

  • Librarians will also schedule time to work with faculty or students on specific projects.
  • Call 860.768.4142 or email for an appointment.