Faculty Request a Workshop

Our dedicated team of instruction librarians is excited to work with you to create an instruction session for your students.

Library instruction will continue to look a little different during the Spring 2021 semester. We will be conducting all library instruction sessions online to help with physical distancing and room capacity requirements on-campus, and to support a resilient and flexible teaching model.

Our online instruction can manifest in several different ways. We can create LibGuides, videos, or DIY research worksheets tailored to your class’s needs. We can also hold library instruction sessions through Zoom where we can cover content and answer students’ questions.

If you have questions about what this will look like, please email Jennifer Resor-Whicker, Coordinator of Library Instruction, at jrwhicker@radford.edu.

Quick links:


Why should I schedule a library workshop for my class?

While many of your students may have attended a library workshop with their UNIV 100 or Core A classes, they usually have only a basic grasp of research. Nationwide studies like Project Information Literacy and The Citation Project confirm that students have difficulty narrowing topics, choosing search terms, selecting appropriate databases, evaluating sources, and citing within their papers. If you have had unsatisfactory experiences with students’ papers and projects in the past, or want them to learn specialized resources for your field, please consider arranging a workshop. We’d much rather teach your class as a group than try to teach each student individually at the Research Help Desk (often the night before the project is due).

What’s special about McConnell Library’s instruction program?

Every single session is tailored to *your* assignment and *your* students’ needs. Even when we are teaching a course with many sections, such as ENGL 112, we design each workshop to reflect the theme and instructor’s suggestions. We see library instruction as a collaboration between the librarian and the professor and consider it a privilege to be invited into your class.

The librarians on the instruction team continually seek to improve our teaching and our program. We attend formal workshops on pedagogy, conduct peer observations of other librarians teaching, and meet weekly to discuss the best practices in library instruction. In 2014, our program was recognized as an Exemplary Information Literacy Program by our national organization in the areas of Collaboration, Outreach, and Staffing. Providing the best possible library instruction to our students is our number one priority.

How do I schedule library instruction?

The best method is to use the online forms above. Please send your request at least one week in advance; you will receive an email confirmation usually within 24 hours of its receipt. You can also contact Jennifer Resor-Whicker, Coordinator of Library Instruction, at 540-831-5691 or jrwhicker@radford.edu to discuss the possibilities.

How long does the library workshop last?

It depends what you would like taught! Our Instruction Menu provides a list of our most popular topics and how long each takes to cover.

Our workshops are hands-on sessions held in our information literacy centers. Our active learning approach leads to students learning and remembering more, but it also takes longer to conduct. We usually ask for a full class period (50-75 minutes).

How many students can the McConnell Information Literacy Centers hold?

For the Spring 2021 semester, all instruction will be online, either synchronously or asynchronously, depending on your needs.

We have two information literacy centers. "A" has 20 computers and can hold up to 40 students. "B" is newly designed thanks to an award from the Steelcase Education Active Learning Center 2018 grant cycle, offers 30 Chromebooks and flexible space. In a pinch, we can split a large class between the two rooms.

I teach in the evening or weekend, online, or off-site; can I still request a library session?

Of course! We teach whenever you teach. We have a lot of experience with providing instruction through D2L and Zoom. We are also happy to take the show on the road and go to the Roanoke Higher Education Center. For library instruction at Radford University Carilion, please contact Mary Catherine Santoro, RUC Outreach & Instruction Librarian.

How can I help to make the library workshop effective?

Before the session, discuss the applicable paper or project with the class. Explain to the students why they are coming to the library.

We require professors with undergraduate classes to attend, and strongly encourage faculty for graduate classes to also accompany their students. When you are present, students are more attentive and engaged. They will have questions about how the library workshop applies to their assignments, and you are the best one to answer them. You can also emphasize certain points made by the librarian.

What other instructional support does the library provide?

Course Guides (LibGuides). LibGuides are dynamic course guides that librarians design. Each LibGuide is custom created based on your course assignment and topics. They contain links to the most appropriate library resources, information on research skills; and ways to contact the Research Help Desk. We create a LibGuide for every class that comes in for instruction, and we can also make one for a course that does not have a formal session.

Drop in and Online Workshops: Throughout the academic year, we offer drop-in workshops for students focusing on how to use APA to create in-text citations and references with our APA Library Survivors, and we offer a variety of self-paced workshops via Desire2Learn (D2L).

Research consultations: Faculty, staff, and students can set up one-on-one sessions to help with research by contacting the Research Help Desk.

Can I bring my high school/non-RU group to McConnell for a library session?

If students from outside of Radford University have an assignment which requires use of the university library and its resources, we will schedule an instruction session when possible. As a general rule, we do not provide sessions or orientations unless the students have such an assignment. At least one teacher must accompany the group, and all teachers are expected to be familiar with the assignment so as to assist the students. Such sessions may not be scheduled during the first six weeks of the fall or spring semester. Any groups that will need parking should consider a late afternoon or evening session due to difficulties finding parking on campus.

If your group would like a tour of the building but does not need instruction, contact Beth Johnson, Head of Access Services, 540-831-6648 or ejohnson82@radford.edu.

Can I use an information literacy center for myself?

The information literacy centers are intended for library instruction. During the first eight weeks of the semester, they are reserved for librarian-led instruction. No reservations are allowed during the final two weeks of the semester because of student demand for the space. During the remainder of the academic year, faculty members may reserve an information literacy center themselves. The centers may not be reserved for testing.

I have more questions!

Hopefully, we have the answers. Please contact Jennifer Resor-Whicker, Coordinator of Library Instruction, at 540-831-5691 or jrwhicker@radford.edu