> Consult with librarians and use the Library's instructional services.
> Assume minimal library knowledge.
Freshmen, transfer students, international students, or new bachelor's degree students may have had no experience with our library system.
Basic library skills may be inadequate for upper-level subject-based research assignments.
> Present a realistic picture of what is, and what is not, on the Web.
On the Web (and perhaps ONLY on the Web): census data, government documents, statistics, etc.
Not on the Web: Some professional journals, most books (not including ebooks), many specialized encyclopedias, etc.
> Be specific. Identify sources students should and should not use.
Define what is an acceptable "Web" resource. Students are often confused and think they cannot use the library's online databases. Also, when some information is only available on the Web (i.e., 2000 census) they may need to use Web resources. Some guidelines: use articles found in library databases or subscription encyclopedias (Gale Virtual Reference Library but not Wikipedia); articles from a professional association, statistics from a government site, etc.
> Teach research methodology when appropriate.
Use the Library's Research Guide for assistance in choosing and refining a topic, finding and evaluating resources, and citing resources.
> Try out the assignment yourself to make sure it can be completed realistically.
Does the library have the necessary resources? Will there be enough resources for all students (few books all checked out by one person)? Should some materials be put on Reserve for all to use? Will there be enough time allowed if requesting materials through interlibrary loan? Are journal citations in your bibliographies correct?
> Incorporate critical thinking into your assignments in as many places as possible.
Use the Library's Evaluating Resources website for guidelines on authority, relevancy and purpose, currency, structure, etc.
From: Creating Effective Library Assignments (University Libraries of Notre Dame)