These questions are meant to give examples of the types of questions that are not necessarily the best to ask on library related assignments. We would be happy to work with you to create an assignment that will help your students learn to use the Libraries' resources. Most of these questions are paraphrases of questions that have appeared on actual student assignments. For help in developing a library skills assignment for your students, or for any type of library assistance, please contact the subject specialist for your discipline. 
1. Find the edition of the London Times for the day you were born. What is the story on the front page?
This question does not give any guidance as to how to locate the London Times, or even what it is. Also, it is unlikely that there is only one article on its front page.
2. In your political science class you have been assigned a paper on the origins of the conflict in the Balkans. In the library catalog, select Indexes. Select the EAI (Infotrac) Index. Now do a keyword search. How many entries are listed? *Hint: If there are too many, you may need to narrow your search. Ask a librarian how to do this.
This question oversimplifies the process of searching for articles using the electronic databases. Also, it is unclear what is meant by "In the library catalog, select Indexes". Does that mean to do a search in the libraries’ catalog for EAI? If so, what kind (title, subject, etc.)? Does the question mean to go into the libraries’ Web page? Also, if the question is going to advise the student to ask for help from a librarian, why not suggest this from the beginning?
3. In the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, the 1994 edition, look up Investments. Find the article "Money Matters". Now find the actual article and print it.
Again, this question leaves out a number of steps for using the Readers’ Guide: How to locate it in the catalog, the location of the Index Area; what the abbreviations mean; how to then locate the article in its entirety in the library, etc. Better to break this down into several sections. Also, instructing the student to "print it" does not clarify whether or not it is acceptable to use our electronic full-text databases to locate the article and "print" a hard copy. Is one of the goals of this question for the student to go up to 4M with the citation, locate the bound volume, and photocopy the article? If so, that should be made clear.
4. Look in the Oxford English Dictionary for the word "peripatetic". What does it mean? What is its origin?
This question could have two different points. If the goal of this question is to teach students about the OED, it might be less overwhelming for them to have step-by-step instructions as to how to find the OED (look in the Libraries’ catalog, etc.). If the point of the question is for students to practice looking up and locating specific books, it might be helpful to introduce the OED before sending students to use it, or suggest to them that they ask library staff for an explanation. Otherwise, they might just ask us to find the answer for them.