Library Instruction Services


What we teach

Our services

What people say about us

  • "Library staff have been very very helpful in working with my undergrad classes to help them develop effective literature searching and interpretation skills” (faculty member)
  • "I learned it's all about how and where you search" (undergraduate)
  • "This class was awesome! Wish I'd had something like this in first year" (3rd year student)
  • "Very informative session - more students should know about this" (graduate student)

Request instruction

Librarians can help your students learn a variety of research skills, including how to focus a topic, find and evaluate good sources, use and cite sources properly.

Our sessions are available year-round (including evening and summer classes) and are tailored in content and format to meet your needs. A librarian can come to your class, or if under 25 students on the Waterloo Campus, we can meet in the Library's Instruction Room. Options include:

  • a quick 5 minute drop-in to acquaint your students with our services
  • short in-class session(s) as a basic introduction to a research skill
  • longer, more in-depth session(s) for more advanced research skills
  • advice on designing assignments that help students learn and practice research skills
  • session(s) arranged outside of your regular class time

Interested in a session? Talk with your Subject Librarian about how we can help integrate effective research skills into your course. View examples of past sessions for ideas.

No time for a visit to your class? Check out our online instruction options.

Discipline-specific workshops

Each discipline has a Subject Librarian who works closely with graduate students to meet their research needs. We can visit graduate classes to deliver discipline-specific research sessions. View examples of past sessions. Faculty can also contact their Subject Librarian to request a session from our general workshop series for a group of graduate students.

General workshop series

The Library offers the following workshops each year. Please check the Library Workshops page or the ASPIRE calendar for upcoming dates.

Several of these workshops are available fully online through MyLearningSpace. To access them, sign into MyLearningSpace, choose Self Registration from the top navigation bar, and select Library Research Workshops from the list of course options. Workshops are available as self-paced modules within this course.

Citing insights: sites to help you cite

Between multiple browser tabs, downloaded pdfs, and scraps of paper tucked in your binder, it is possible that your important research materials lie in multiple locations. Did you know there are tools available to help you manage all of your research and citations that you collect while doing research? In this workshop we look at how citation and document management tools can help keep your research work organized and save you time when you need to prepare properly formatted bibliographies and in-text citations in MS Word. This workshop covers the advantages and disadvantages of two tools: Zotero and Mendeley.

If you cannot attend a scheduled session, or if you have a group or class that would like a personalized workshop, contact Greg Sennema.

Creating a research question

A good research question is the foundation for a successful research project. Learn strategies for creating a focused question that will streamline your thesis or dissertation research and help you finish on time.

Finding government policy & its analysis

Finding public (government) policy can be daunting. Finding analysis of any given government policy before, during and after a policy’s implementation can be even more overwhelming. Learn some strategies for hunting down not only the policy documents, but also the steps that led up to the creation of the policy in the first place. Discover some ways to find out about the reception, impact, and analysis of the policy, including how you might consider the merits of these arguments.

Finding legislation & its analysis

Even if you’re a Law student, finding Legislation (Bills, Statutes, Acts, Laws, Regulations), how it’s been used in court, and what the legal community thinks of it all, can be overwhelming! Learn about the legislative process to produce our laws, and how you can track a Bill to its final destination, a Statute. Find out, too, how to start looking for analytical information about these legal instruments, including analysis of their coming into force, their use in court proceedings, and their impact on individuals and society.

Keeping your research data safe with data management planning

Where do you store your research? Who has access to your files? What must you do to preserve your work after the project ends? The management of your research data is now a critical part of scholarship in Canada. This session will introduce you to research data management (RDM) and to data management plans (DMPs), a key part of many grant applications today. We will discuss things such as research data ethics, access, and metadata. This is a learn-by-doing session: participants will use Laurier Library's free tools to write their own data management plans to bring back to their teams and research advisors. Long-term consultation and support is also available. This session is open to both graduate students and faculty. Learning outcomes include: learn about research data management, write a data management plan for your own research at Laurier, and learn where to store your research data based on your safety, access, and security needs.

Planning a literature review

Need to write a literature review? Learn how to plan, research and organize one successfully for your thesis or dissertation, and decide on a focus and scope for your review.

    Publication & promotion: more reach for your research

    Where should you publish? How should you publish? How do you choose the right journal and avoid the bad? Identify options for publishing, emerging tools, managing online profiles, privacy, copyright, and alternative metrics (altmetrics) to track output. Will include data, peer review, open access and co-authorship as well as online social networks like ResearchGate and

    Searching for Scholarly Literature

    Learn about advanced methods for searching databases to find relevant scholarly literature about a research topic.

    Using StatCan and Ipsos Canada data in your research

    The Laurier Library has a vast collection of socio-economic data from Statistics Canada and Ipsos Canada for use in your research. These include surveys, data, tables and GIS resources essential to research in fields such as health, economics, labour, education, politics, and geography. This session will show you how to access and search this collection, with some additional hints on finding American and international data for your work. Learning outcomes include how to find StatCan resources at Laurier, how to use codebooks and questionnaires to understand data points and statistics, and how to find and use the Ipsos Canada public opinion polling collection.

    For all courses

    We can support your students online by:

    • Creating resources on the Library web site that you can refer students to or link to in MyLearningSpace, including:
    • Providing online MyLearningSpace content that you can use in your course, including our Understanding Plagiarism module.
    • Providing personalized support from within your course in MyLearningSpace. We can upload relevant Library resources and instructional content, alert students to Library services through email, or answer student questions through discussion boards. For how to add a librarian, see Add a librarian to your MyLearningSpace course.

    For online courses

    In addition to the services listed above, for online courses we can:

    • Teach live online research skills sessions (via Adobe Connect webinar software)
    • Provide individual student research appointments through email or online

    For graduate students

    Several fully online self-paced workshops are available for graduate students through MyLearningSpace. Access is through self-registration: sign into MyLearningSpace, click on Self Registration in the top navigation bar, and choose Library Research Workshops from the list of course options.

    What our users tell us

    “For several years now, the library [has] provided excellent, specialized support for students writing final papers in my online course by offering interactive presentations on various stages in the research process” (faculty member)

    To request online course instruction

    Contact your Subject Librarian