By Ellen Meltzer, Information Services Manager

Under the leadership of UC Heads of Public Services (HOPS), the UC libraries have collaborated on a UC-wide library tutorial entitled “Begin Your Research”.  (Each campus will eventually have its own URL.)  

The self-paced tutorial is based on an award-winning tool created by UC Irvine for its own students.  Cathy Palmer, UCI Library’s Head, Outreach and Instruction, took the lead in partnering with the UCI Distance Learning Center staff and librarians at each of the UC campuses to create a “genericized” tutorial.  References specific to UC Irvine were deleted and changed to reflect an open version that now applies to all UC libraries.  

The tutorial features a series of interactive exercises and demonstrations designed to engage and educate beginning level researchers.  The lessons can be followed sequentially or accessed and used as stand-alone introductions to discrete topics, such as how to begin research, find books, find articles, or use basic and advanced search techniques.  In addition to use by individual students, the tutorial is specifically designed so that instructors can link to and show lessons while teaching.  For example, a librarian could use the section on Boolean operators in the Basic Search module as a demonstration during a class presentation or on the knowledge cycle for a research course across disciplines.   The tutorial can be linked from library guides, web pages, learning management systems and more.

The creation of the systemwide tutorial is part of HOPS’s ongoing strategy to collectively harness the power and creativity of one campus for all, rather than reinventing the proverbial wheel.  Using the tutorial with minor adjustments for all 10 libraries also supports the UC libraries’ drive to sustain excellent services in light of powerful forces for change (such as significantly reduced budgets) and transforming operations while maximizing discovery and access to information resources.