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Faculty/Librarian Partnerships

This guide profiles some of the main ways that the library can partner with faculty in their various lines of work.

Developing a New Course ...

When developing a new course or program, it is important to confer with your assigned liaison. During the proposal process, the liaison writes a memo which (1) weighs in on whether the library has the necessary information resources to support the instruction and (2) proposes a mode of library instructional support aligned with the associated learning outcomes. This assures an ongoing conversation between the program faculty and the library to make sure that students have the materials and instruction necessary to be successful and creative scholars and professionals. To support this process, liaisons draft annual department reports which offer a snapshot of how the library facilitates learning within programs.

When developing a new course, liaisons are particularly helpful in two inter-related areas:

  • Designing Research Assignments: Liaisons are trained to identify those course learning outcomes which depend upon students finding, evaluating, and/or using information. Once we identify those outcomes, we collaborate with faculty to work backwards -- phasing complex research projects into cumulative steps which allow students to learn specific (and often unfamiliar) phases of the longer process in manageable steps. Part of this faculty-librarian collaboration involves designing novel research assignments which allow students to profile their learning with a particular phase of research. Often, these assignments look different than the traditional research paper, but are easily relatable to successful term projects. 
  • Designing Info Lit Assessments: Liaisons are also available to partner with course faculty on assessing students' learning related to finding, evaluating, and using information. Such light assessments are useful for program reporting, of course, but more importantly, they allow programs to identify where students struggle with research and to celebrate how students excel at different aspects of research.

If a program or department identifies the course you are developing as a crucial point in the curriculum for students to learn research, then your liaison may be embedded in the course -- integrated across the term to provide library instruction, research consultations, feedback, and/or assessment. 

Teaching with Primary Sources and Archives

Archivists in Special Collections & Archives are available for consultations on developing curricular modules, learning activities, and assignments using primary source documents. Some examples include:

  • Scheduling a class visit to Special Collections & Archives to view and learn about the artist books in the Rosalee McReynolds Collection
  • Requesting a visit from an archivist to facilitate a workshop on primary sources and how to conduct research using them
  • Developing an assignment that demonstrates how to perform a document analysis to explore aspects of historical evidence
  • Incorporating the university's digital collections in first-year seminars to expose students to the institution's history (e.g., through the university archives in the form of the University Photographs collection, The Maroon student newspaper, The Wolf yearbooks, University Bulletins collection, etc.).

To request a meeting to explore ways to integrate primary sources into your course(s), please fill out our request form or send us an email at and one of us will follow up with you.