ATTENTION: We are currently in the process of moving to our new website located at
Please make note of this and update your bookmarks accordingly. We apologize for any inconvience.

Creating Effective Library Assignments

Help your students get the most of the Library

The Purdue Engineering Library welcomes and encourages faculty and student use of its facilities and resources. A library assignment can be useful and appropriate in any class and the library’s instructional staff are happy to help you plan and coordinate the learning experience. Before giving a library assignment, do your students and the librarians a favor and review the following assignment tips.

Purpose of Library Assignments

An effective library assignment has a specific and understood purpose which is directly related to the course subject matter and addresses learning objectives. The assignment should lead to increased understanding of the subject matter through the process of locating the required information. Well designed assignments can also help students build life-long learning skills and make them aware of information sources and formats.

Implementation of Library Assignments

The most effective library assignments are typically developed through collaboration and coordination between a librarian and the teaching faculty. Library assignments, like any student assignments, need to be implemented in an appropriate manner. Students should be prepared for the assignment, told why they are doing it and what purpose it serves. For assignments which will use specific sources, students should be given a list of those resources, not expected to guess if they found the 'right' one. If the assignment includes complex sources or unfamiliar search strategies, students should be oriented to these by the faculty member or a librarian to make sure they have the necessary skills. Be sure to test the assignment, try putting yourself in the students' shoes with their experience and perspective.


Go to Assignment Tips...


This page is modeled after several similar pages at found at the following schools, South Dakota State Univ., Montana State Univ., Univ. of North Florida and Jacksonville State Univ.