Reference & Research
A librarian will help you identify, retrieve, and use diverse information resources. Librarians teach research education classes & workshops and create web-based guides and tutorials to help you find reliable, high-quality information.
Reference & Research Services Librarians are available from 9 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, with evening hours by appointment. The reference desk is located in the great hall of the library, along the west wall under the Safari mural, across from the library's main entrance.
Librarians can meet with students, faculty, and staff individually or in groups to discuss your research questions and guide you to relevant resources. Please contact one of the librarians to arrange a meeting.
We will help you to identify the best resources for your research and help you become more familiar with search techniques for your specific topic.
Since most of our resources can be accessed remotely, librarians are available to visit faculty members' offices to discuss your research questions.
Library Research Education
Librarians teach both general library orientations and discipline-specific library research sessions.
Librarians provide library research education
- in the classroom,
- in the Library Research Training Room, or
As of fall 2011, all first-year undergraduate students will engage in a library research education session during the CAL 103 course. In addition, all first-year undergraduate engineering students will participate in a library experience session as part of the E101/102 course.
To promote advanced library research education, we are happy to collaborate with faculty members to create a session tailored to the specific research needs of a course or department. So that the session is meaningful, non-redundant, and relevant to the students,
- The faculty member will collaborate with the librarian to design an instruction session that meets the research needs of a specific assignment. The instruction session will be valuable only if it addresses a specific learning objective.
- Faculty members are required to be present at the session so that the faculty member can see the sources shown and the issues discussed as well as demonstrate to the students that the faculty member values research skills and the outcome of the assignment, and that the instruction session is an integral part of the coursework.
To arrange a library session, please complete the online instruction request form.
Through library research education and outreach to the Stevens community, librarians promote the critical evaluation and information literacy skills students need to be successful at Stevens and as members of an information- and media-rich society.
"Developing lifelong learners is central to the mission of higher education institutions. By ensuring that individuals have the intellectual abilities of reasoning and critical thinking, and by helping them construct a framework for learning how to learn, colleges and universities provide the foundation for continued growth throughout their careers, as well as in their roles as informed citizens and members of communities." Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, American Library Association, 2000.
"Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.
"An information literate student:
- Determines the nature and extent of information needed.
- Accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
- Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
- Individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
- Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally."
(Association of College & Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, 2000)
Accreditation organizations like Middle States and ABET require university libraries to establish library research education programs that contribute to student lifelong learning skills, including those of information literacy and critical thinking. National attention has been called to the importance of information literacy, as the month of October has been proclaimed by the President of the United States "National Information Literacy Awareness Month."
The library's information literacy program addresses these goals and learning outcomes in detail with a focus on preparing students to excel when faced with future challenges and to understand the value of their contribution to society. If you would like to learn more about the information literacy program, please contact a librarian.