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Faculty Guide to Library & Archives Services

New to the college? Just back from sabbatical?  Can't remember where to go to get the help you need at the library?  This guide will point you in the right direction.

Information Literacy Instruction


The Libraries are committed to providing information literacy instruction and research support (via Personal Research Sessions and other methods) for course across the curriculum.

We encourage you to explore the following tabs to learn more about our information literacy instruction program and the options available -- or, contact Jennifer Whelan ( or your department librarian


Would you like your students to write better papers and use higher quality resources in their research?
While many Holy Cross students report confidence in their research skills, the HEDS Research Practices Survey results indicate that they often lack the skills necessary to conduct research at the college level:

  • 45% did not realize that a personal web page is a less appropriate source than a book published by a university press, an encyclopedia, or an academic journal article. 
  • Only 38% realized that sources like Time and Newsweek are not scholarly.
  • When asked about ways to refine and expand their searches for locating relevant resources, many students had little knowledge about how to construct effective searches.
  • Many students could not identify if a given citation was for a book, book chapter, or journal article.

What we can do:

  • Provide a customized library instruction session for your class.
  • Create an online library research guide, tailored for your students’ research needs. 
  • Meet with your students individually to discuss their research, as part of the library’s Personal Research Session Program.
  • Help you design a research assignment that engages students with a wide range of library resources.

For more information about ways that we can provide research and instructional services for your classes, contact your department's librarian.


Topics we typically cover:

  • Academic integrity
  • Distinguishing between scholarly journal articles and articles from popular publications
  • Evaluating the quality and credibility of sources
  • Library services, like interlibrary loan
  • How to search CrossSearch and subject-specific databases
  • Citing sources properly
  • How to locate and use primary and secondary sources

Specific examples from previous semesters: 

  • How to find images, books, and articles about the Day of the Dead altar construction so that groups of students could construct their own altars
  • Three sessions focused on different aspects of the research process: Choosing a topic, research techniques, and analyzing resources
  • A session on locating primary and secondary sources supporting different sides of a topic for a class debate
  • An introduction to working with scholarly articles and where to find them, paired with required Personal Research Sessions in which students had to locate an academic article to supplement class reading/discussion for a given week. 

Instruction Menu: 

To help faculty consider the options available to them, the Libraries produce an Instruction Menu on an annual basis: 

However, we are always happy to work with you to customize something beyond these options for your course! 


The Information Literacy Assignment Bank is designed to support collaboration between librarians and faculty by providing a concrete, but flexible, framework for integrating information literacy in the curriculum . 

The Assignment Bank consists of a series of 1-page template assignments designed to teach students a specific information literacy skill or skills in the context of an existing course.  

Each 1-page assignment includes:

(1) A step-by-step description of the tasks involved;

(2) Appropriate skill level(s);

(3) Relevant frames from the Association of College & Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy

Research & Course Support


Working on a new project? Need a refresher on databases or other tools? Or, simply having trouble with a specific inquiry? We'd be happy to help!

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact: Jennifer Whelan (x2254,, or your preferred librarian. 

You are also welcome to contact us via.... 


The Archives and Distinctive Collections can provide faculty and students the opportunity to use College records, primary sources and unique materials.

For more information, contact Abby Stambach, Head of Archives and Distinctive Collections, at x2506 or


Educational Design & Media Services staff visit classes and provide training for web site design, digital imaging, video editing, geographic information systems, statistical software, and Google Apps. Additionally, the department can provide individual support for students, including helping students design and print posters for class assignments and conference presentations.

Librarians communicate frequently with Educational Design & Media Services staff and are always happy to collaborate with them in supporting your student projects! 

For more information and support with using GIS technology, SPSS, R, Moodle, Dreamweaver, Panopto, Photoshop, course design, and more, contact the Educational Design & Media Services staff. 


CrossWorks is an Open Access publishing service of the Holy Cross Libraries. As the institutional repository of the College, CrossWorks provides permanent and global access to scholarly and creative works produced by members of the Holy Cross community.

For more information, visit and/or contact Lisa Villa, Digital Scholarship Librarian, 508-793-2767 or