Hamilton College Library


Services & Support

Course Support

Burke Library’s Information Literacy Program endeavors to provide students the research skills essential for intellectual exploration and academic success.  We believe the core concepts of Information Literacy are critical to laying the foundation for Hamilton's own learning objectives: intellectual curiosity, creativity, understanding of cultural diversity, aesthetic and analytic discernment, and ethical, informed, and engaged citizenship. 

Information Literacy is a spectrum of abilities, practices, and habits of mind that extends and deepens learning through engagement with the information ecosystem. It includes:

  • understanding essential concepts about that ecosystem;
  • engaging in creative inquiry and critical reflection to develop questions and to find, evaluate, and manage information through an iterative process;
  • creating new knowledge through ethical participation in communities of learning, scholarship, and civic purpose; and
  • adopting a strategic view of the interests, biases, and assumptions present in the information ecosystem.

(Association of College & Research Libraries, November 2014)


Related Links
Request a Consultation

Library Instruction

Hamilton faculty are encouraged to bring classes or groups to Burke Library for instruction in doing library research. Most library instruction sessions occur during regularly scheduled class time in the library’s Couper Classroom. These sessions can...

  • Instruct students in the development of a research strategy
  • Help develop critical thinking skills
  • Provide an introduction to the library catalog to locate books and eBooks
  • Demonstrate the use of both general and subject specific databases
  • Help select, evaluate, and cite authoritative information sources
  • Explain library services and procedures
  • Support student success

Librarians have discovered that students benefit most from hands-on library instruction when their professors provide clearly developed research assignments, prior to the library instruction session. In order to best address information literacy learning objectives, it is highly recommended that a library research assignment is assigned in conjunction with the library instruction session.  To arrange for specialized library instruction, contact a liaison librarian to discuss library-related assignments.  Faculty may also submit requests through our library instruction form.  

In order to maximize the effectiveness of library instruction, the following guidelines are suggested:

  • Requests should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date that the instruction session is needed.
  • Requests for instruction should be accompanied by a copy of the research assignment. Assignments should specify the purpose of the paper or project, the number and types of sources to be used, and the requested citation style.
  • If at all possible, it is recommended that students know their research topic(s) prior to the library session. If a basic library orientation class is being requested with no research paper assignment given, it is suggested that a simple research assignment be developed in collaboration with the instructing librarian.
  • The instructor's presence at the session is welcomed and required.

First Year Experience Librarian

Our First Year Experience Librarian, Alexandra Rihm, is available to provide research assistance to first year students, and support their understanding of information resources, skills, and concepts. To provide Hamilton students with a solid base of research and information skills that will serve them in both academic and professional settings, librarians at Hamilton have established First Year Information Literacy Learning Outcomes. To help achieve these outcomes, faculty teaching first year courses are encouraged to contact Alex to discuss the integration of information literacy concepts into the curriucula or request a library instruction session via our convenient instruction menu.


Throughout the year, and by request, librarians or research tutors are available to provide specialized workshops on topics such as RefWorks, E-books, using digital images, and more. For further information, contact your liaison librarian or submit your request through askref@hamilton.edu.

Research Appointments

Opportunities for individual consultation with research librarians are available to all students and faculty. Make an appointment with a research librarian for individualized assistance with research papers, senior projects, theses and more. To make arrangements, please stop by the Information Desk in Burke Library or request an appointment through our convenient research appointment request form.

Blended Course Design - Teaching and Learning with Technology

Research librarians and instructional technologists are here to provide collaborative course support to help students develop multimodal learning and presentation skills. Explore the wide range of possibilities for your courses through our Technology in Teaching Showcase.

For more information, please contact Lisa Forrest at lforrest@hamilton.edu or Nikki Reynolds at nreynold@hamilton.edu.

Research Support within Blackboard

Librarians are available to create course guides, containing information and links to assignment specific library resources, for faculty to incorporate into their Blackboard course sites.  Faculty who wish to utilize this service should consult with their departmental library liaison.