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NO.61 FALL 2002
BENE LEGERE
NEWSLETTER OF THE
LIBRARY ASSOCIATES

The Library Associates

Join more than 6,000 other friends, book lovers, alumni, and faculty who recognize that the influence of a great research library reaches beyond the university it serves to the many communities of which it is a part.

Library Associates receive complimentary copies of the quarterly newsletter Bene Legere, as well as invitations to special occasions at the Library. For more information on the Library Associates program, please write or telephone: The Library Development Office, Room 131 Doe Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; telephone (510) 642-9377. Or, check our website.

     

The Teaching Library: Reaching Cal Undergraduates

Hundreds of first-year students placed a visit to the Library at the top of their list of Welcome Week activities. For many students, learning about the nine million volume collection spread throughout more than 25 campus library locations and available in a variety of formats was simultaneously inspiring and overwhelming.

Aware of the complexities inherent in such a rich organization, The Teaching Library, a component of Doe and Moffitt Libraries’ Instructional Services, focuses on the special needs of undergraduates at a large research institution. First-year students receive an annual summer reading list developed in partnership with the Office of Educational Development; this year’s list of banned and challenged books offers an intellectually stimulating transition between high school and college, while reminding students that they are joining a community that values thought and reading. Outreach to many academic support programs, for groups such as transfer, adult re-entry, and disabled students and Haas Scholars, ensures that library staff remain participants throughout a student’s academic life.

Some of the most meaningful connections occur where library resources and academic coursework intersect. Each year, the Teaching Library provides course-related instruction to thousands of undergraduate students in the humanities and social sciences-introducing them to appropriate subject-specific resources, discussing approaches for their research, and actively engaging them in the analysis of the resources they select.

Library classes for American Studies focus on skills to successfully research and analyze interdisciplinary issues related to American society. Library seminars to History 7B classes guide novice researchers through the process of locating primary source materials on historical topics. This year, a new program designed with the College of Letters and Science integrates information literacy and critical thinking skills into a course which introduces students to a wide range of disciplines. Library collections are one of Berkeley’s greatest assets, but without a guide those collections would be largely invisible to most undergraduates. The role of the Teaching Library is not to simply demonstrate resources, but to guide and engage students in the process of their learning so they become increasingly independent and confident about locating, evaluating, and synthesizing information.


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Originally published Fall 2002. Server manager: contact