Instruction Program

Z. Smith Reynolds Library (ZSR) has a well-respected instruction program, both within the institution and the larger library field. Unusual to libraries: ZSR offers several sections of various library related credit-based courses in which students clamor to enroll and faculty enthusiastically recommend. In addition to this formal instruction, ZSR also offers exceptionally high quality and personalized single-session instruction in academic classes, workshops, small group and one-on-one personal research sessions, and interactions at the reference desk.

ZSR has been a leader on campus in professional development for the department’s instructors and technology-enhanced education. The library has offered technology workshops for faculty over the years ranging from how to use various emerging technologies to why one might use them for teaching and research. ZSR has also paved the way for discussions about evolving the teaching methods at Wake Forest University (WFU) by offering the first fully online undergraduate class and being actively involved in discussions of online education for the University. In the Spring of 2013, the Library offered the first massive, open, online course at Wake Forest: ZSRx, a mini-MOOC for parents and alumni, on how to search the web more effectively.

The instruction program is an outstanding example of ZSR’s mission to help students, faculty, and staff succeed. This program helps students do better work and helps faculty evaluate better- researched projects. ZSR stands out among peer libraries in the depth and breadth of its instruction program as well as the University’s support for it, from students to professors to administrators.

The overarching goal for the instruction program should be to reach more of our undergraduate students while working to maintain and improve the quality of the services we offer.

Instruction programs at other colleges and universities offer generic instruction to more students. Some offer high quality interactions to a very small percentage of their population. ZSR is uniquely positioned to give a large percentage of our student body an extremely high quality, personalized, library instruction program. That program is in the spirit of the “Wake Forest” way, and is what ZSR aspires to achieve.

Action Items & Timeframes

  • Build additional classroom space. (2015) Pending Capital Campaign funding
  • Write proposal for credit-bearing online version of LIB100 and submit to the College Committee on Curriculum. (Fall 2013) Completed
  • Concentrate LIB100 Instruction by Lecturers and eLearning Librarian (Fall 2013). Completed
  • Develop the ZSRx series with classes for incoming parents, digital publishing, and genealogy. (Fall 2013) Completed
  • Develop additional 200-level credit-bearing classes (2013-2014) Completed
  • Explore the development of a generic “Topics in Information” course that would facilitate teaching of a variety of more focused topics by library faculty. (2014) Ongoing
  • Develop a three-credit version of Information Literacy class for online and/or face-to-face delivery. (2014) Deferred