The librarians employed by the University of Alabama are experts in helping your students locate information necessary to complete their assignments in the most efficient way. Just as you research topics of interest to you in your career as a student and academic, we put a great deal of time and energy into determining the most effective, least intimidating ways to introduce library services and resources to the students, faculty, and staff of the University community. Making such introductions is a task we consider to be fundamental to our jobs as librarians, and we also consider ourselves to generally be quite good at it. If you would like to schedule such a session, please contact Brett Spencer at (205) 348-1200.
That said, if you still wish to orient your class to the library yourself, you may do so. We do regulate the activity in the area, and we request that you observe the following guidelines when teaching a class in our area.
- Please consider allowing a librarian to teach your class. While it is not mandatory that a librarian teach, we do consider ourselves experts in librarianship and have had considerable experience teaching research skills to students. We know our collection and the resources and will work with you to prepare a session that encompasses your preferences.
- Please consider discussing with a librarian what you would like to have included in your class instruction. Students find specific information more useful than general introductory information. We can discuss with you the best means of providing this. Students are always more attentive when there is a context to the instructions they are receiving.
- If you wish to teach the class yourself, please call ahead to schedule the time that you wish to come. We request a 7-10 day advance appointment. Our busy times fluctuate with the school year but are frequent nonetheless. Calling to schedule your class' arrival will insure that you will not be turned away due to lack of computer terminals. Please call Brett Spencer at (205) 348-1200 to schedule a time. We are flexible and offer service when you need it, but be aware that we may ask you to come at a different time if another class has reserved the time you want.
- We request that you give us a copy of the assignment or otherwise notify us of its particulars. This allows us to prepare for many requests and to assist users within your expectations. Since we have student workers from 9-midnight, Sunday through Thursday, we also need to let them know how to assist your students.
- Remember to define "Internet resource" to your students and carefully explain which are permissible to use and which are not. Most of our databases are delivered through a browser front-end, or through a Web connection, but they are quality library databases that we purchase through vendors. They are not the same as a "Web site." Many students are emphatic that they can "only use one Internet resource." Therefore, in their minds, they may not use our Internet-access library databases.
We hope that with your help we can provide a positive library experience for all students.