Teaching & Learning

Librarians collaborate with faculty to help students gain vital research skills

In an era of social media, disinformation, and fake news, helping students learn how to evaluate information is more important than ever. While the University’s Core Curriculum teaches undergraduates to critically examine texts, survey responses indicate that students also need help learning to identify, assess, and use sources beyond the syllabus. Librarians are available to work with faculty to design tailored assignments and resources that teach research skills that meet course-specific objectives.

Survey results indicate the value of Library instruction

Librarian Rebecca Starkey with 3 students working on laptops.

Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction and Outreach (standing), works with students to enhance their research skills. (Photo by Jason Smith)

In 2017, the Library conducted a survey of undergraduates in order to learn more about their experiences at UChicago. Results demonstrated that students expect to have opportunities to conduct original research while at the University and believe that the research skills developed at UChicago will be essential for their future careers. Once here, however, respondents were uncertain who on campus had responsibility for helping them develop the skills needed to successfully find and use information.

Fortunately, survey responses clearly indicated that Library instruction positively affects students’ perceptions of their research skills. While only 38% of survey respondents reported having attended a library program or orientation, those who received this instruction consistently gave higher ratings to their abilities to evaluate academic sources, make ethical use of information, and form evidence-based conclusions than did those who had not received such training. Respondents who had participated in Library programs were also less likely to start their research with general search engines and nearly twice as likely to begin at the Library’s website.

Librarians create course-specific resources for faculty

University of Chicago librarians have experience collaborating with faculty and instructors to design programs, assignments, or course-specific resources that help students meet learning objectives while improving their research skills. Below are some examples of ways the Library can help:

  • Humanities students are asked to locate a review article about an art exhibition, theater performance, or film. A librarian teaches students how to locate review articles, highlighting the differences between academic sources with those in newspapers and magazines. The class also learns how to critically evaluate arts blogs and websites.
  • For a public policy class studying immigrant communities in Chicago, a librarian teaches students how to find U.S. Census data for neighborhoods.
  • For a psychology course focusing on adolescent mental health, librarians create an online guide to help students locate studies on the impact of anti-bullying programs on teenage suicide.

If you are interested in exploring options for your course, contact Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach at rstarkey@uchicago.edu.

“Library Adventures in a Digital Age,” a history of medicine pop-up display

Library Adventures in a Digital Age

Join Dr. Mindy Schwartz, Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, in the Special Collections Research Center for a special pop-up display of rare medical history collections.

Library Adventures in a Digital Age:
Chicago Connections
Friday, October 26, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Special Collections Research Center
Regenstein Library, 1st floor

View a selection of books and objects from our collections that enhance our understanding of the history of science and medicine, and learn how they can be used for research and teaching. A resource guide will be available.

For more information about the event, contact the Special Collections Research Center.

Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law access over the summer

Your law student accounts for Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law can all be used over the summer, though under different terms for each service.

Westlaw

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduating students have access to Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, for six-months after graduation. Your “Grad Elite” access gives you 60-hours of usage on these products per month to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills. While you cannot use it in situations where you are billing a client, Thomson Reuters encourages you to use these tools to build your knowledge of the law and prepare for your bar exam. In addition, you get access to job searching databases on Westlaw and TWEN for 18-months after graduation for 1-hour a month. Extend access by logging into www.lawschool.westlaw.com or at https://lawschool.westlaw.com/authentication/gradelite.

For help or more information, contact the Law School’s Westlaw Account Manager Tami Carson at Tami.Carson@thomsonreuters.com.

Lexis

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Continuing students are welcome to use their Lexis Advance ID for academic or employment purposes during May – August.

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduating students will have their Lexis Advance IDs automatically transitioned to Graduate IDs on July 1, with access through December 31, 2018. Those graduates going to work for a 501(c)(3) can apply for an ASPIRE ID for a full year of access following graduation. Qualifying graduates can apply from this site: https://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access/

For help or more information, contact our LexisNexis Account Executive, Carter Isham at carter.isham@lexisnexis.com.

Bloomberg Law

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Bloomberg Law provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer. There is no need to register, as your student account will remain active and available all summer.

Graduating 3Ls:

Students graduating this spring have unlimited and unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation.

For help or more information, contact our Bloomberg Law Account Manager, Chrishantha Vedhanayagam at cvedhanayagam@bna.com.

Students, scholars explore African-American archives in Chicago

(From left) Black Metropolis Research Consortium fellows Sonja Williams, James West and Douglas Williams discuss their research at a community presentation event at the Stony Island Arts Bank. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

UChicago serves as host institution for Black Metropolis Research Consortium

Second-year College student Megan Naylor spent the past summer as an intern in the Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University, organizing a new collection of materials from Carol Moseley Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

The internship was part of a program offered by the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, a Chicago-based association of libraries, universities and archival institutions, including the University of Chicago. The consortium members hold collections related to African-American and African diasporic culture, history and politics, with a special focus on materials relating to Chicago.

Naylor hadn’t considered a career in archival research before the internship, but she now sees herself as possibly entering the field. She recently was selected for a second internship with the archives at the Chicago History Museum, which is a member of the consortium.

“I really like the internship program because I think it’s important getting young African-American students into a field where they are underrepresented,” Naylor said. “It’s also doing good work preserving history and giving people access to it.”

Megan Naylor and Melanie Chambliss

UChicago student Megan Naylor (left) stands next to former BMRC fellow Melanie Chambliss with materials from the Carol Moseley Braun Collection.

UChicago is the host institution for the consortium, which was founded in 2006 by then Dean of the Humanities Danielle Allen. Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian, said it is an important part of civic engagement initiatives for the Library and the University.

“It gives us the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in the Chicago region, to forge stronger connections with the Chicago community, and to offer unique research and internship opportunities to undergraduate students, graduate students and scholars from University of Chicago and around the world,” Johnson said.

In addition to preserving and preparing historical materials related to African-Americans for research, the consortium is focused on training new archivists through their Archie Motley Archival Internship Program, designed to address the underrepresentation of people of color in the field.

“We are seeking to diversify the profession and really provide exposure to students,” said Andrea Jackson, the executive director for the consortium and former head of the Archives Research Center at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. “We want students of color to go into fields like archives or library science or museum studies.”

Jackson hopes to build upon the success of the consortium, while offering new opportunities for future archivists by extending the internship program.

“Right now we are working with undergrads, but we’re hoping to grow the program and work with graduate students, as well as reaching out to high school-level students to share what we do as archivists within the profession.”

Summer fellowship program brings researchers to Chicago

Ida B. Wells with her children

Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her children, 1909, 13.7 x 9.5 cm. Ida B. Papers, Box 10, Folder 1, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

For more than a decade, the consortium has worked to preserve the archives of the African-American experience in Chicago while extending opportunities in the field for undergraduate and graduate students and offering research opportunities to scholars from around the world.

Researchers also can take advantage of the wealth of collections available at the consortium’s member institutions through a summer program that has supported 95 fellowships since 2008. Among the valuable resources held by consortium members are the Ida B. Wells Papers at the Special Collections Research Center at UChicago Library and the Harold Washington and Timuel D. Black Jr. papers at the Chicago Public Library.

One of this year’s fellows was Sonja Williams, a professor of communications at Howard University. Twenty years ago she produced a documentary for NPR on affirmative action in higher education, using UChicago as a case study. This past summer, she conducted archival research at UChicago on student experiences in the 1960s and 1970s when affirmative action policies were instituted at the University.

Williams said she benefited from the resources of several member institutions, including Special Collections at UChicago Library.

“Resource-wise it’s rich being able to have access and utilizing the minds of the archivists at the institutions,” Williams said. “Being able to collaborate and hear about projects from scholars and other fellows was fantastic.”

A University of Chicago news release

An early taste of legal research launches careers

D’Angelo Law librarians give College and graduate students their first exposure to legal research

For almost 15 years, librarians from the D’Angelo Law Library have been teaching a seminar on legal research for undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in using legal resources or considering law school or other legal careers. D’Angelo Law Library runs the seminar in coordination with the UChicago Careers in Law (UCIL) program and has expanded the course in recent years to include a legal writing component. This past Spring Quarter, 29 students signed up for the six-week seminar, which included units on case law research, statutory and administrative law research, and using secondary sources, in addition to legal writing and oral communication. The research segments were taught by librarians Thomas Drueke and Todd Ito, and legal writing was taught by Bill Chamberlain, Program Director of UCIL.

Students who have participated in the seminar have reported that the classes provided a good preview of what legal research is like in law school and in practice. Kyle Panton, AB’14, JD’17, took part in the seminar in 2013 and said it helped him decide whether to go to law school: “As an undergrad, quality opportunities to learn about what lawyers experience on a day to day basis can be hard to come by.” Panton went on to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School earlier this year and will be starting work at a law firm in New York City this fall. “I would highly recommend the seminar to any students who think that they may be interested in practicing law, or who think they may want to pursue a career where knowledge of how to conduct legal research may be a boon,” Panton added.

Seferina Berch, AB’14, said that, in addition to helping her decide whether to attend law school, “the seminar helped guide research for my BA thesis, which had a historical legal focus, and helped me get a 1L internship on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.” Berch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School this May and starts work as an associate at the law firm Sidley Austin, LLP in New York City this fall.

UChicago students interested in taking this course in Spring 2018 can sign up through the Career Advancement Office.

Scared of the stacks? A new 30-minute workshop offers tips for students

Person in bookstacks.

Photo by Brad Busenius.

The Halloween season can be scary, but the stacks shouldn’t be! If you have trouble finding books on the shelf, or are just intimidated by Regenstein’s bookstacks, no need to fear. In our new 30-minute program Scared of the Stacks? Tips for Successfully Finding Books in Regenstein”, our librarians will provide an overview of Regenstein’s stacks, and offer advice on finding items in the Library quickly and easily. We’ll also explain some stacks mysteries, including what that little f before the call number means, and what to do if the B Level compact shelving doesn’t move.

We’re sure that after attending this workshop, browsing the stacks will no longer be tricky, but a real treat! Register today!

Programs start in the Techbar (Regenstein, Room 160).

  • Monday, October 30, 10:00 – 10:30 am Register
  • Monday, October 30, 3:00 – 3:30 pm Register
  • Tuesday, October 31, 11:00 – 11:30 am Register
  • Tuesday, October 31, 1:30 – 2:00 pm Register

Welcome to the Library: orientation for new students

Librarian helps student

A librarian shows a research guide to a student. November 30, 2011. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Welcome to the University of Chicago! As the heart of campus, the Library offers much more than books and a place to study. The Library’s work is to provide comprehensive resources and dynamic services to support the research, teaching, and learning needs of the University community.

Below are just a few ways you can learn about the University of Chicago Library, its resources, and services before classes begin.

Orientation Guide

Designed to give a preview of all the Library has to offer, the Library’s orientation guide helps new members of campus navigate the Library.

In-Person Orientation Programs

Our orientation guide and online tours are no substitute for the variety of on-campus orientation sessions that the Library offers.

Undergraduates

Library Boot Camp
Wednesday, September 20 at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm
Thursday, September 21 at 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm
Joseph Regenstein Library, A Level
Get in shape for college research by attending our 60-minute Library Boot Camp. Strengthen your research skills by learning about search tools and Library services before your first assignment is due. We’ll cover the basics: how to find books and course readings, printing, study spaces, laptop lending, and more. Students who complete Boot Camp will receive their own Library mug!

Science Research: An Introduction to the John Crerar Library
John Crerar Library
Wednesday, September 20 at 11:30 am
Thursday, September 21 and Friday, September 22 at 10:00 am
Are you pre-med or considering a science major? If so, this session at Crerar, the sciences library, is for you! Learn how to find and access articles in e-journals and databases for classes and research projects. During this 60-minute session, you’ll also receive a building tour and learn how to access print materials. Attendees receive a special Crerar giveaway!

ECON 101: An Introduction to Library Resources
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 122
Friday, September 22 at 11:00 am
If you are majoring in economics, this is a can’t miss orientation. Learn about all the services the Library can provide to aid in your research, from accessing the major relevant newspapers and journals (think The Economist and The Wall Street Journal) to finding economics articles and papers. Get an introduction to some of the best sources for economics data.

Graduate Students

Orientation programs for masters and doctoral students are arranged through your department or program, and are hosted by the subject librarian for that discipline. The Library’s Workshop and Events Calendar lists many of these programs, but if you do not see yours listed, please feel free to contact the Library via our Ask a Librarian service.

Virtual and Self-Guided Tours

Learn about the Joseph Regenstein Library through our short virtual tour.

Go behind-the-scenes of the Joe & Rika Mansueto Library in 360° with a video from the University of Chicago.

Want to explore the Library at your own pace? Download our Self-Guided Tour of the Regenstein and Mansueto Libraries.

The HistoryMakers, an African American Oral Video History Archive – workshop

 

When: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 3:004:30 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122A-B
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: Two interviewees in The HistoryMakersThis 90-minute workshop on The HistoryMakers, an African American oral video history archive, is presented by staff from The HistoryMakers project, including Julieanna Richardson, Founder & Executive Director. Co-hosted by the University of Chicago Library and the Office of Civic Engagement, the workshop is open to UChicago faculty, students, and staff who are interested in video oral history or African American contributions to any aspect of American life or culture.

For more about The HistoryMakers resource, visit http://www.thehistorymakers.com/

Cost: Free
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
773-702-4685
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Tag: Diversity, Workshops
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

NLM Webinar Series: “Insider’s Guide to Accessing NLM Data: EDirect for PubMed”

Beginning November 30, 2016, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) will present the three-part Webinar series “Insider’s Guide to Accessing NLM Data: EDirect for PubMed”.

This series of workshops will introduce new users to the basics of using EDirect to access exactly the PubMed data you need, in the format you need. Over the course of three 90-minute sessions, students will learn how to use EDirect commands in a Unix environment to access PubMed, design custom output formats, create basic data pipelines to get data quickly and efficiently, and develop simple strategies for solving real-world PubMed data-gathering challenges. No prior Unix knowledge is required; novice users are welcome!

This series of classes involves hands-on demonstrations and exercises, and we encourage students to follow along. Before registering for these classes, we strongly recommend that you:

  • Watch the first Insider’s Guide class “Welcome to E-utilities for PubMed,” or be familiar with the basic concepts of APIs and E-utilities
  • Be familiar with structured XML data (basic syntax, elements, attributes, etc.)
  • Have access to a Unix command-line environment on your computer. For more information, see our Installing EDirect page.
  • Install the EDirect software. For more information, see our EDirect installation page.

Due to the nature of this class, registration will be limited to 50 students per offering.

Registration is currently open for the November/December 2016 series:

  • Part 1: Getting PubMed Data: Wednesday, November 30, 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST
  • Part 2: Extracting Data from XML: Wednesday, December 7, 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST
  • Part 3: Building Practical Solutions: Wednesday, December 14, 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST

Students are expected to attend Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in a single series.

To register, and for more information, visit: https://dataguide.nlm.nih.gov/classes.html#edirect-for-pubmed

Burst the bubble: expanding the news sources you read

Image of Facebook Screen

Facebook page” (CC BY 2.0) by reynermedia.

Over the last week, major internet companies such has Facebook and Google have been under attack for their role in the circulation of ‘fake news’. Critics assert that these platforms publicize most-clicked content as news without verifying facts and claims. Some even say that publicizing this ‘fake news’ influenced the outcome of the presidential election. In addition, news on social media tends to be shared among followers and friends, so the news you see there often aligns with the political affiliations and perspectives closest to your own. For these reasons, using social media and popular news aggregators such as Google News, can put you in what has been called a ‘filter bubble’. Library resources can help you burst that bubble.

The Library will be offering 30-minute workshops highlighting databases available to the University of Chicago community that contain a wide variety of news sources.  Learn how to browse major dailies such as the Washington Post or New York Times in just a few clicks, search international newspapers online, and find transcripts from cable and radio news programs.

Burst Your Bubble: Making the Most of the Library’s News Databases
Regenstein Library, Room 207
Monday, November 21, 10:00–10:30 a.m.  Register Now
Tuesday, November 22, 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Register Now

Can’t make a workshop?  Begin exploring the news databases available to you using our research guides:

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact Rebecca Starkey at rstarkey@uchicago.edu for assistance.