Mortensen Instruction

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 Tutorial. Students 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.

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