Teaching at BC Libraries Snapshot, Fall 2023

Librarians at BC taught 258 instruction sessions in summer and fall 2023, shy of the 2019 high-water mark by only three sessions. In these sessions we taught library skills and strategies to 6814 students. Here’s the breakdown, followed by survey feedback from First-year Writing Seminar students and faculty.

A wide angle shot of a busy classroom with students working and talking to each other at tables, and two projection screens
Librarians help students understand primary and secondary research techniques in Ingu Hwang’s class, “Development and Social Justice in Korea” in O’Neill Library’s recently redesigned classroom.

By the Numbers

  • First-year Writing Seminars (FWS): 78 
  • Burns Library: 33 
  • Subject Specific: 133 
  • Summer Orientation: 14
  • Enduring Questions/Complex Problems Core courses: 12*
  • Held in O’Neill classroom 307: 77*
  • Undergraduate sessions total: 188*
  • Graduate sessions total: 66*

*These categories overlap with others.

FWS Survey Results

Library instructors surveyed students in all 78 First-year Writing Seminar (FWS) sessions, and received 419 responses, a roughly 35% response rate. We also surveyed instructors and received 26 responses. Here are some visualizations and excerpts.

Several bar graphs charting responses to "developing a topic into an original thesis/idea," "getting started with my research," "using the library," and "evaluating sources for credibility." Each has 5 categories from "strongly agree" to "strong disagree." All graphs show a clear majority in "Strongly Agree"
FWS Student Survey, Fall 2023, answering: “After the library instruction session I was more confident with…”

[T]he library instructor we worked with was so incredibly helpful! She was super clear and organized with everything she explained and taught me so many new techniques. I felt like the session helped me with my research a lot.

FWS Student

Very helpful; thank you! Students said they felt more confident and they were choosing appropriate sources in their annotated bibliographies.

FWS Instructor
A bubble diagram. In a medium sized yellow bubble is the text "Generating keywords." In a larger orange bubble, "Using the advanced search options in the library catalog or databases to combine terms." In the largest blue bubble, "Using AND, OR, and NOT in searches (Boolean)."
FWS Survey response to: “Which of these strategies were new to you?”

The Librarian] is always such a wonderful help each semester–my students have always had a positive experience with her!

FWS Instructor

This was very helpful. I will definitely visit a librarian for help!

FWS Student
Bar graph titled "Using advanced search options to combine terms," with a clear majority answering "Very helpful," followed by "helpful," with only a handful of responses "not helpful" or "not applicable."
FWS Student Survey, Fall 2023 response to: “Which search strategies from the library instruction session did you find helpful?”

[The Librarian] did a fabulous job organizing the materials for our library day. I asked my students about their experience, and they were very grateful for the resources that [the librarian] provided. As an instructor, I was extremely grateful to have people like [the librarian] on our campus, and I’m especially appreciative of the time he spent preparing for our lesson. Thank you for making this process so effortless, and I wish you nothing but positivity in the future 🙂

FWS Instructor

Arranging a Library Session

Arranging a library session is quick and easy. Just visit this library instruction page for the appropriate contact information for your course(s).

Once you’ve filled out the appropriate form or emailed your subject librarian, we’ll contact you regarding logistics and goals, including the knowledge, skills, and strategies your students will need to succeed in the research assignment. We have a classroom for instruction in O’Neill (307), and are also happy to come into your classroom. Both Burns Library and the Digital Scholarship Group have additional spaces for instruction.