Course Offerings

In our credit-based classes, students become familiar with the ZSR Library, its resources, and academic research. Strong emphasis is given to learning to evaluate information to determine how appropriate it is for research and whether it is credible, scholarly information. Issues of copyright, plagiarism, and the impact of the Internet on research are also covered.

LIB100: Academic Research & Information Issues

This 1.5-semester hour course provides a basic understanding of concepts in the research process, enabling students to identify appropriate strategies for filling the information need. The course explores the broad array of information sources in various formats and disciplines, and emphasizes the organization, efficient retrieval, and critical evaluation of electronic and print information. Along the way, students become familiar with the ZSR Library and the vast array of resources available to the through the Library. No more than 3 hours from LIB classes can be counted toward graduation.

LIB210: Social Science Research Sources & Strategies

This half-semester course is focused on helping students develop as emerging social science scholars by providing them with an understanding of the sources and strategies necessary for doing research in the Social Sciences (Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Education, Politics and International Affairs, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies). Students explore the interdisciplinarity of the Social Sciences and learn to recognize the various disciplines in any given topic within the Social Sciences. Students practice inquiry by designing an effective research process for the Social Sciences, including crafting a research question and developing effective search strategies in a variety of environments. Students investigate a variety of sources and practice critically evaluating information. Additionally, students practice communicating like a scholar by developing proficiency in APA style and citation management software. Students also begin to participate in scholarly discussion of their discipline and reflect on issues related to information production, access, and authority.

LIB220: Science Research Sources & Strategies

This half-semester course provides students with an understanding of the sources and strategies necessary for doing research in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and health and exercise science). Students learn about the process by which various forms of scientific information and literature are created and distributed. Students also learn to compose a research inquiry, refine the scope of the question, and create an advanced research strategy for finding relevant scholarly articles in science databases. In addition, students learn how ethical, legal, and socioeconomic factors influence scientific information production and dissemination. Lastly, students will become proficient in the use of the American Medical Association (AMA) citation style and citation management software.This class is recommended for any science major or minor or Pre-Health or Pre-Allied Health student, especially any who may not have an extensive research background. P—Major or minor in science discipline or POI.

LIB230: Business & Accounting Research Sources & Strategies

In this half-semester course students will develop a conceptual understanding of and practical expertise in the use of business information resources. Using class discussion, in-class exercises and other assignments, students will learn how to research companies, industries and markets. Students will learn to use subscription-based databases as well as government websites and free internet resources to find information in various formats, including articles, financial and statistical data, and reports. Students will benefit from this class by learning business research skills that will help them to:

  1. Conduct better research for assignments in other classes.
  2. Prepare more thoroughly for job interviews.
  3. Perform more effectively in the workplace.

LIB235: Research Methods for Entrepreneurs

LIB235 Research Methods for Entrepreneurs will prepare students to write important sections of a business plan. Students will learn how to locate and use library databases and other resources to research an industry, a company and a consumer market.

These skills will be useful to students for:

  • Writing a business plan
  • Preparing for an interview
  • Investigating a competitor or supplier

LIB260: History of the Book, 1400-2000

LIB 260 introduces students to issues in the history of material texts in the West, from early modern manuscript culture through the beginnings of the digital age. Using materials from ZSR Library’s Rare Books Collection, students study books as material artifacts, as vehicles for text, and as social constructs. Class assignments may include research projects, brief response essays, and descriptive bibliographies, in addition to hands-on typesetting, printing, and bookbinding projects. Note: this class meets once weekly for the entire semester.

LIB290: Exploring Primary Sources – An Introduction to Their Use in Research

This library course on primary sources is a research methods class for history and other liberal arts majors. The course will focus on building basic skills for conducting historical research and includes guidance on locating, utilizing, and evaluating sources. Students will explore both primary sources (in both analog and digital form, such as diaries, letters, newspaper articles, photographs, government documents, and first hand accounts) and secondary materials (such as books and articles written by historians and devoted to the analysis and interpretation of historical events and evidence).

LIB290: Fake News, Junk Science, and Fact-Checking

This 1.5 credit half-semester course will look into the issues surrounding fake news and junk science. We
will cover the processes, history, and psychology behind misinformation campaigns – including ‘fake
news’, propaganda, conspiracy theories, and urban legends. We will look at how the Internet exacerbates
and ameliorates the problems and will look at the the role particular platforms play or should play (Google,
Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia). Additionally, “junk science” – or the incomplete or inaccurate reporting of
academic research – will be examined so we can all be better consumers of news and other information.

LIB290: Introduction to Data Visualization

This class is an interactive exploration of data in society with a heavy emphasis on graphing and visualization as well as interpretation. We look at how data is generated and used in our society; examine various sources of data; discuss and practice incorporating data into text effectively; review how to select the most effective type of graph and how to create, label and cite graphs. The emphasis is on locating, graphing and interpreting data rather than creating or analyzing data. LIB290 is appropriate for undergraduates in any major.

LIB290: Book Publishing – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This 15-week, 1.5 credit course will explore the “past, present, and future perfect tenses” of the publishing landscape. This course will introduce you to multiple aspects of book publishing as you pitch, format, design, market, and “publish” your own book idea. All students interested in the intersection of books, technology, commerce, and writing will find this course a fascinating exploration of the massive shifts currently underway in the publishing world. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll publish some books!