Creating Effective Library Assignments

General Principles and Guidelines:

  • Identify a purpose or rationale for the assignment that is clearly communicated to the students
  • Connect your assignment to pertinent WSU information literacy learning outcomes
  • Make sure the assignment is closely tied to the course content to provide relevance
  • Check with the WSU Libraries' Subject Area Guides to learn of relevant resources for your assignment
  • Work through the assignment yourself
  • Be sure that each resource listed on your assignment has the complete name of the item, accurate usage of terminology is a must
  • Create assignments so that a large number of students are not trying to get access to a very small number of resources


Contact a Subject Area Specialist (Librarian) for help with the following:

  • Learn about available resources and potential resources limitations
  • To put heavily used materials on reserve
  • To schedule a course-integrated instruction session
  • To put a paper copy of your assignment at the reference desk
  • To encourage your students to use reference services to get help if they need assistance


Suggestions for library based assignments (beyond the traditional research paper):

Using components of the course content as a topic:

  • Create an annotated bibliography
  • Prepare a (fictitious) interview with a relevant person
  • Compare and contrast primary and secondary sources
  • Compare and contrast popular versus scholarly sources
  • Compare and contrast publications information) over time
  • Compare and contrast publications (information) reflecting conservative and liberal political persuasions
  • Compare and contrast publications (information) across disciplines
  • Compare and contrast publications (information) across geographic regions
  • Compare and contrast publications (information) among the various types of reference resources
  • Compare and contrast publications (information) available from article indexes with information available on the open Internet
  • Compare and contrast key serial (journal or periodical) publications