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Get ready for teaching….

By August 4, 2015September 16th, 2023No Comments

As the calendar turns from July to August so our minds shift from research to teaching. We have pulled together some of our most popular tools and services for instructors, faculty, teaching staff, GAs and TAs. Please take a look and let us know if you have any questions.

We help students save money on textbooks, and make sure they have them when needed.

New in fall semester, in partnership with the University Bookstore, the Libraries have identified ebooks being used as course materials that are available through or purchased by the U Libraries. Links directly to the ebook will be available on the bookstore website so students can make informed decisions about their textbook buying. This means the materials are available to all students on the RyanB_teachingfirst day of classes (some students have told us they have to wait to buy textbooks until a paycheck or scholarship check arrives). Also the materials are available throughout the semester so students can use the ebook if they left their book at home or just didn’t want to bring it to campus for the day.

The Open Textbook Library is a great place to find complete and open textbooks. Learn more about all the ways we are working to save students money and increase affordability.

Beyond textbooks: alternative, high quality, low cost materials
In addition to textbooks, the Libraries can help you find and use alternative, high quality, low cost materials in your courses, and ultimately help save students money such as articles, videos, book chapters, encyclopedias and more. We also have new techniques to seamlessly mix materials from our collections, along with those in which a royalty or copyright payment from students is needed.

Our staff can build a page of readings and materials for you based on your syllabi that can be integrated into Moodle, work with other course systems or be a stand alone page. Our familiarity with all of our vast collections, including new purchases, can save you time as you are building course readings lists or a new course. 


Supporting student research 

Do you have a research paper assignment? Do you want to add resources to you course site? Library Course Pages (LCPs) bring together academic databases and research tools tailored to a specific course. Content is selected and organized by librarians in collaboration with faculty and instructors. Students get access to the best databases, Chat with a Librarian 24/7, services, tools to help with bibliographies and more. Learn more about Library Course Pages and add a link to your Moodle, syllabi or other course site. We can also teach an in person session(s) to teach search techniques, best articles databases, finding scholarly sources, archival research, finding data, tools for creating in text citations and the bibiography and more. We also have a growing number of online tutorials which can be integrated directly into your course. Contact your librarian or submit a request form.

You can event add a statement about the U Libraries to your syllabus. Here are a couple which might be helpful:

  • Meet with your librarian
    We have a librarian for every department across campus. We can help you select a research paper topic, find academic and scholarly articles, find primary or unique sources and we have tools for citing your sources like RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley. Visit 
  • University of Minnesota Libraries
    Find over 8 million books, online scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, unique historic documents, videos, and more combined with quiet/group study spaces and even coffee shops. With 12 locations and 24/7 availability online at, the U Libraries can help you do better research.
  • Peer Research Consultants
    Don’t know where to start your research project? Peer Research Consultants (a.k.a. library research tutors) provide 1-on-1 academic support for students of all levels and any major.  PRC’s help students with finding sources, narrowing down a topic, developing a thesis statement, and any other research-related need.  Make an appointment or stop by during scheduled walk-in hours:

Get students out of the classroom with our exhibits, events, speakers and more

Continuum is the place to view upcoming exhibits, events, our First Friday series, sponsored lectures and more. Such as: exhibit

Our Archives and Special Collections are always available to provide unique, rich and meaningful research experiences for students. Simply contact us to get started.

Attend our sessions at the Center for Educational Innovation’s Teaching Enrichment Series

  • Exploring Alternative Course Content:  Enhance Student Learning and Save Them Money Too! on Thursday, Sep 3, 2015 at 9:00-9:50 in Nicholson 115 with Kristi Jensen & Shane Nackerud
    The average undergraduate student spends over $1,200 a year on textbooks and other course materials. In addition, tuition costs continue to rise forcing some students to choose whether or not they will buy course materials. The University Libraries can help faculty and instructors find and use alternative, high quality, low cost materials in their courses, and ultimately help save students money.  Attend this session to learn about using Library licensed content, Digital Coursepacks, Open Textbooks, student creation of course content, and more as an alternative to high priced commercial textbooks. Register 
  • Copyright Crash Course for Instructors on Thursday, Sep 3, 2015 at 10:00-10:50 in Nicholson 115 with with Nancy Sims
    Building on the session on alternative course content, this session will take a fun and empowering look at the legal aspects of sharing course materials with students. We’ll discuss strategies for avoiding difficult legal situations, like linking and using open or public domain content. We’ll also dig deeper into fair use, a flexible part of copyright law that sometimes permits unauthorized sharing; and we’ll discuss how to seek permissions to use works when fair use does not apply. Register

See the full series of workshops

Support for interdisciplinary research and Grand Challenges

Interdisciplinary research and doing research outside of your field can be challenging with new databases, journals, keywords, search logic, data sources, etc.  The University Libraries have search tools, services, people and software to support Grand Challenges and we can save you time and increase efficiency as you work on interdisciplinary research and teaching. 

Here is an example of a library course page for one of the new grand challenge courses for fall. It will be growing over time and is designed to help students on doing research on these complex problems

Here are some other ways we can help support Grand Challenges and other courses:

  • Content and Course Readings (goal of student affordability)
  • Finding Data (Mapping/geospatial data, Government data, Satellite imagery, Demographic data)
  • Data visualization
  • Identifying archival and primary sources to enhance courses
  • Collaborative bibliographies,  information management and data management
  • Library spaces and tools for group work
  • We can teach sessions or workshops on academic research and professional skills
  • Supporting communication and archiving of results/student work for use by future semesters, public, etc.

Please contact Kate Peterson ( with any questions or feedback.

Kate Peterson

Author Kate Peterson

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