Shared by Jennifer Lau-Bond, Coordinator of Library Instruction

Have you ever asked your students how many of them have visited the Harper Library space, checked out a book, used a Library database, asked a librarian for research help, etc.? While a lot of students regularly visit the Library on-campus or online, for some students, the Library is unfamiliar, confusing, or even anxiety-producing.

Screenshot of a tutorial from the Library

One way to address this situation is to provide students with an introduction to the Library. That doesn’t necessarily mean “assign a research paper.” In fact, you can introduce students to important campus resources like the Library even if you don’t have any research assignments! There are lots of brief, low-stakes ways to help your students get acquainted with the Library. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Assign content from the Library (article, streaming video, etc.). If possible, give students the citation and have them find it using OneSearch, which teaches students how to navigate the system. Even if you just provide a permalink to the resource, though, students will still learn how to log in to electronic resources from off campus. That little bit of familiarity can help next time they are asked to do a research assignment.
  • Utilize Course Reserves. Put extra copies of course materials on Reserve and provide students with information about how to access them. Of course, it can be an important option for students who don’t have course materials for some reason, but it also gives especially vulnerable students a reason to visit the space and to talk to Library staff.
  • Show students the “Top 5 Ways the Harper Library Can Help You Succeed” video for a simple 3-minute introduction to Library services.
  • Assign our new Library Scavenger Hunt activity. The activity has both an online and on-campus version (roughly 20-30 min). Reach out to us and we can set it up for your course(s)!
  • Have a librarian talk to your class. We can do a 20-minute building tour, stop by your class for a 5-minute introduction to a friendly face, or do a longer formal instruction session, either on-campus or online. Check out our Library and Information Literacy Instruction page for more options.

Help make sure all students at Harper know about the wealth of resources and services that are available to them from the Library. For more ideas, reach out to Jennifer Lau-Bond, Coordinator of Library Instruction, at

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