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Library Instruction


Instruction Sessions and Workshops

Instruction Sessions and Workshops in BC Libraries

We provide a wide variety of workshops and instruction sessions, and can work with faculty or students to create customized sessions. Below are some sample workshops and instruction sessions. Whether you need one of the workshops below or instruction on library tools other than what is shown here, please contact your Subject Librarian or FWS Instructor.

Core Library Skills

Catalog Tips

Unlock the secrets of how to find books, videos, journals, and other materials quickly and efficiently, whether you're starting with titles, authors, or vague topic ideas.

Citation: Who, What, When, Where, Why

Citation can be a troublesome process, with its seemingly endless lists of rules and variations. Learn universal concepts underlying all citation, efficient processes for tracking and managing resources, and how to find answers to questions like, "In APA, how do I cite a quotation to blog post without a clear author or page numbers?"

First Year Writing Seminar (FWS) Instruction

The First-year Writing Seminars (FWS) Library Instruction is a crucial element of the BC Libraries instruction program. We aim to provide in-class library instruction for every section of FWS, and we have a team of instruction librarians dedicated to this task. Where possible, we like to meet with FWS faculty in advance of the instruction session to discuss what will be covered, and develop custom instruction sessions that directly address course assignments. You can see our extensive FWS guide for more information, or contact one of our FWS instructors to get started. We work closely with the FWS program to ensure students develop core library skills early on in their time at BC.

Citation Management Tools


A free Firefox, Chrome, & Safari extension that helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives within your web browser. Zotero allows you to automatically import references and full-text documents from online catalogs and databases, as well as open websites like Amazon, newspaper sites, blogs, etc. You can then easily create automatically formatted bibliographies and in-text citations from your library of references. 


Learn how to use RefWorks for collecting and managing your citations, creating in-text citations and generating formatted bibliographies.


Learn the basics of collecting and managing citations using EndNote citation management software, and how to use it to create in-text citations and bibliographies. 


Media/Technology Tools

Custom technology workshops

Librarians can create custom workshops on technology tools or programs, and often collaborate with campus partners in ITS and CTE in finding the right resources - please contact the Library Digital Studio for help.


A brief look at some of the features and functions in Photoshop that we most often use when working with our digital collections. Attendees will become familiar with Photoshop’s basic tools for manipulating and evaluating images. 


Introduction to ArcGIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geographic data. Learn mapping and analysis with the latest version of ArcGIS software using 2010 Census data and examples of GIS analysis in various disciplines. Access to Data/GIS collections and technical support offered at Boston College will also be discussed. Click here to view calendar sessions.

Digital Scholarship

Our Digital Scholarship Librarians work in conjunction with subject liaisons in meeting the needs of faculty and students who are engaged in digital scholarship activities. We can create custom workshops, classroom instruction, or provide more hands-on support for digital scholarship projects. We work closely with campus partners to ensure optimal support for faculty and students.

Some sample workshops we've provided in the past include: 

Digital Scholarship concepts

Librarians can provide overviews or subject-specific presentations on digital scholarship concepts and projects, working in conjunction with faculty. 

Incorporating a Digital Humanities Component into your Class

Intended for faculty, this course provides a "best practices" approach to using digital humanities tools and processes in humanities courses for the purposes of communication, collaboration and facility of research. 

Text Analysis Tools

Using Project Bamboo as a starting point, participants will gain an overview of the tools available online that help discover key words and ideas researchers may otherwise not have noticed. 

TEI: Textual Encoding Initiative

An introductory class to the fundamentals of text encoding within a humanities context.  Participants will learn what the TEI is and guidelines for simple encoding for source materials.

XML: eXtensible Markup Language

XML is designed to transport and store data. In this session, participants will learn XML syntax, well-formed and valid XML, DTD, and displaying XML with CSS. 



Locating and Using Data for Secondary Research

We offer many cross disciplinary sources and repositories of data for secondary research. Learn how to find the data you need for your research or class assignment using discovery tools such as the Data/GIS & Statistics Collection, ICPSR  (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) and research guides highlighting key U.S. and international data. Downloading data and the use of statistical software for data analysis will also be demonstrated. 

Data Management Workshops

Introduction to best practices for managing, sharing and preserving research data for the long-term, as required by some funding agencies. Data citation best practices. Tailored to specific disciplines as indicated. 

What are some of the classes offered by the Library?

We offer instruction on library and research skills at all levels. Our mission is to promote students’ understanding and use of information in the discovery, creation and transmission of knowledge to enhance their academic experience. We look forward to meeting with you and to working with your students. Some sessions include:

Introduction to Library Resources - Librarians work closely with students to introduce a variety of resources and services, especially useful for students new to the university.

Subject-Related Instruction - Overviews of discipline-specific collections and research practices, working in conjunction with faculty requests.

Technology-Related Instruction - Introduces students to new technologies that can help with research. 

Assignment-based Instruction - Librarians collaborate with faculty to match library instruction to specific course objectives, such as providing specific research tools and suggestions based on research assignments. May span more than one class period.

Blended Instruction - Librarians work with faculty to integrate library material with Canvas, either by directly adding the librarian to the Canvas course, or by providing content to enhance an in-person library instruction session.

Our goal is to enhance a student's understanding of the research process by introducing them to the resources, tools, and methodologies needed to be successful in their courses. We aim to work with faculty to develop sessions tailored to meet the needs of a specific course or class. We welcome feedback and recommendations for future instructional topics.