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Burns Library Instruction


Schedule a Class Visit

Scheduling a Class Visit

If you are interested in using special collections materials to enhance the learning outcomes of your courses and/or research assignments, please complete the Burns Library Instruction Support Request Form as in advance as possible

We are also happy to meet with you to discuss preliminary questions or ideas if more information is needed before filling out the form. 

Class requests will not be accepted less than two weeks before the proposed session date(s). Customized class requests often require more planning / lead time.

We will follow up with all instructors after receiving the instruction support request form. We may not be able to meet all requests for classes, due to staffing levels, classroom/space availability, and other instructional support needs. 

Class Formats

While we tailor instruction to your specific class, there are a variety of ways to integrate Burns material into your course. It’s also helpful to have scheduled a library skills session with your subject liaison, to ensure your students have a comprehension of basic research skills and communication to build from.

  • Single class session, no assignment
    • Designed to introduce students to working with and handling historical items in original formats, as well as analyzing and contextualizing these materials within the framework of the course.
  • Single class session, with assignment
    • Designed to give a deeper understanding of special collections materials and research methods and challenges, with an assignment that requires students to return to Burns Library to practice what they have learned in controlled circumstances.
  • Multiple class sessions, no assignments
    • Designed for scaffolding from an introductory session into in-depth or broader analysis opportunities. This style requires lots of time identifying content, and works best if the students produce knowledge (quiz, handout, exhibit) as a way to guide them through the process.
  • Multiple class sessions, singular or multiple assignments
    • Designed to offer students a deeper engagement and scaleable understanding of special collections holdings, multiple opportunities to use and interpret primary and secondary sources, and the means to undertake original archival research and learn about primary research methodology through first-hand experience
  • Online Classes
    • We, too, are adapting to new realities and teaching modalities. Although we will always advocate for the importance of original formats, we are still available to help you design engaging and meaningful synchronous and/or asynchronous online class activities and assignments that make use of digitized and born-digital collections.
  • Out of Classroom Experience (OCE)
    • Burns Library Staff can support Out of Classroom Experiences within the hard limits of library staffing, spaces, and materials. OCE objectives, activities, and assignments must be thoroughly planned ahead of time. Please contact Burns Library staff about designing an OCE that involves engaging with Burns Library’s unique materials in a meaningful way.

Instruction Spaces

  • The Burns Library Instruction Program uses the Fine Print Room as the primary classroom. This space comfortably holds 25 students, although more can be accommodated occasionally.
  • The Irish Room can be used for small seminars (<8 students) or occasional larger class overflow.
  • We might be able to make the Reading Room available for larger classes.
  • We are willing to move larger classes through onsite experiences in several sets of smaller groups as classroom availability allows.
  • Please let us know well before class if your course will exceed the cap listed in the EagleApps Course Information, as that directly affects our class plans.

Burns Teaching Librarians are also available for in person classroom presentations and workshops, as well as for online classes. We want to help you design engaging and relevant synchronous and/or synchronous activities and assignments using digitized materials. We have instruction ideas, and we’d love to hear your ideas as we all figure out what works in these different learning modalities.