Intro to Library Research (ITLR) is...

A curriculum designed to teach students new to the University of Minnesota and to academic research about the depth of the University Libraries and the basics of academic library research. It is designed to be part of the First Year Writing (FYW) courses to teach basic information literacy skills. It can also be useful to anyone who needs an overview on using the Libraries for research.

Intro to Library Research

Intro to Library Research is face-to-face or online. Students will complete the Library Research Worksheet on their own research topics as they go through the module. This worksheet can be emailed or printed and turned in for credit.


Initially, library instruction was requested by individual faculty and taught by a couple librarians across the system. In response to an extreme staffing shortages and this unsustainable model the University Libraries developed the “Unravel the Library” series of workshops in 2002-03. The primary goal of “Unravel” was to meet the need for library instruction generated by over 70 sections of English Composition, later renamed First Year Writing. In fall 2008, we debuted an online version of Unravel 2 workshop to take advantage of students comfort with technology and with the goal of teaching more FYW students. The online modules offer interactive learning with 24/7 convenience and similar student learning outcomes as the face-to-face session. Between 2008 and 2010 we saw good acceptance for the online modules: about 50% of students who completed Unravel 2 took the online version.

The Libraries began working on redesigning the "Unravels" in October 2009. We gathered data from two focus groups of First Year Writing faculty and instructors, conducted a FYW instructor survey and student survey of past Unravel participants, and did a literature review. Based on our analysis of the data we determined that the sessions should include more information about and practice with evaluation while continuing to teach search strategy, getting full text, finding articles including scholarly/peer reviewed journals and giving students a general overview to the Libraries. Since this time we have made continuous improvements and changes to the curriculum. 

Instructors, if you would like to request an in-class workshop, or for more information, contact:

Kate Peterson, Librarian | 612-626-3746