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PBC Library

The NAU library website for the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library

Instructional Support

Teaching support

Bring an information expert into any of your PBC classes to effectively teach students how to find, critically evaluate, and use information. Request a library instruction session by contacting catherine lockmiller and/or filling out the Library Instruction Request Form.

Instruction can come in many forms, but here are a select few specific options:

Effective search in PubMed | 80 minutes
  • navigate MyNCBI
  • develop an advanced search query
  • make efficient use of search tools
  • break down PubMed citations
  • make use of Clinical Queries search
  • save searches for later use
Align PICO & search strategy | 60 minutes
  • break down PICO questions into searches
  • understand levels of evidence
  • understand clinical domains and study designs
Background and foreground information | 20 minutes
  • learn the difference between background and foreground information
  • when, where, and how to look for background information
Strategic citation management | 60 minutes
  • learn to use RefWorks and Zotero
  • import references from databases
  • integrate RefWorks into Microsoft Word and Google Docs
Publication types | 40 minutes
  • define review types
  • identify clinical study designs
  • understand open-access and traditional publishing models
  • find specific journals and study types in PubMed
Make the most of MeSH | 40 minutes
  • learn to use the MeSH database
  • break down the MeSH terms
  • understand Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) in PubMed
Health disparities research | 60 minutes
  • define health and healthcare disparities
  • recognize the value of cultural competencies in EBP
  • find best evidence for working with specific populations
  • identify public and community health literacy tools
Order off menu! | 20 - 180 minutes
  • Contact the librarian to build a course that best fits your specific class needs!

NOTE: for a visual rendition of this menu, please click the link to the PBC Library Course Menu.

PBC Library offers support for online classes

As NAU has increased its online and blended course offerings, librarians have also increased their support for the development of research skills, critical thinking, and student learning in the online environment.

Course reserves

  • Digitized streaming media
    • PBC Library can create digitized copies of university owned media. The content will be available to your students through BBLearn.
  • Electronic reserves
    • PBC Library can digitize copies of articles, book chapters and other print resources. The content will then be available to your students through BBLearn.
    • NOTE: when beginning the electronic reserves process, please fill out the Reserves Request Form.
  • Find electronic reading and media
    • Your PBC librarian can teach you to identify useful online resources available from the library, such as journal articles and streaming video, and teach you how to find alternatives if needed.

Integrating research skills into assignments

Your PBC librarian can review course assignments to identify and incorporate research and critical thinking skills into your class. i can work with you to:

  • Think through an assignment from a research skills perspective
  • Verify if resources needed to complete the assignment are available through the Cline or PBC Library
  • Develop curricula and learning exercises for your class that strengthen the skills of your students
  • Encourage your students to talk to a librarian before they start a research assignment
  • Create course guides

Course guides

Your PBC librarian can work with you to direct students to the best resources for successfully completing assignments, along with instructional elements on how to most effectively use those resources. i can work with instructors to build guides tailored to the needs of specific courses. These can then be linked directly in BBLearn.

Create tutorials

i can work with instructors to build tutorials tailored to the needs of a course. Tutorials will enable students to learn about a particular research skill or concept, how to use a library resource, or think critically about information.

Building Information Literacy

Information practices are increasingly calling for renewed attention to metaliteracy, or thinking about what it is that makes literacy happen. In scholarly work across all levels of academia, literacy is irrevocably tied to information search, collection, analysis, and creation.When we teach to each of these information behaviors, we build abilities and critical self-reflection skills in ourselves and in our students. 

This is the goal of information literacy instruction as defined through the ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education (The ACRL Framework). Following from The ACRL Framework, PBC Library promotes information literacy as the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.

PBC Library supports the above definition of information literacy by providing instruction in six core concepts defined by in The ACRL Framework:

  • Inquiry-driven research (Inquiry)
  • Strategic search exploration (Strategy)
  • Information has value (Value)
  • Authority is constructed and contextual (Authority)
  • Information Creation as process (Creation)
  • Scholarship as conversation (Conversation)

Working in unison, each of these concepts provokes increased information literacy. Because all six involve intensive learning processes, it is in the best interests of students, faculty, and the wider research community for instructions to focus on developing understanding and knowledge practices for each at different times, and at every stage of learning. 

  • Have students keep a detailed research log of the research process addressing methodology, sources consulted, keywords or headings searched, their frustrations, etc.
  • Perform independent research to find out if a well-established open access journal (such as AERA Open) is as authoritative as a traditional, paid journal (for instance, The Journal of Educational Psychology). Consider how the journals are published, who pays for them, their audiences. Then, decide if one is more valuable than the other. NOTE: any periodical is applicable. This includes newspapers (The Wall Street Journal vs. The Economist, for instance). (Best between instructions; should take students 30 - 60 minutes)
  • Students can put themselves into the shoes of an author by finding open access journals relevant to their field or subject. They should try to identify what open access journals are high quality and high impact. They can use to get an idea how journals should be appraised, and they can make use of Scimago to identify research impact and other identifying information. (est. time = 5 minutes)
  • Following the Health and Healthcare Disparities Research Guide, students work in groups to compile a resource list for providers and public health administrators that focuses on disparities that might be experienced by a sample case study with which they are presented beforehand. (est. time = 15 minutes)
  • As pre-work or after instruction, students play the short web-based game, The Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds, which provides a detailed look at how information spreads, and how ideas become accepted facts. While playing the game (which takes about 30 - 40 minutes), students should write out their thoughts. For assessment, they will be prompted to write a reflection and summary explaining how information spreads.
  • Zotero is an open access citation management platform. Help students sign up for their own Zotero accounts, and then prompt them to find and store information related to a subject that the entire class can take an interest in studying. Students will store all research in a shared Zotero Group, so the information is crowdsourced for later use.

PBC Library teaching support

Your PBC librarian provides course-related research instruction for all courses at PBC. In order to ensure the best experience for your students i request the following:

  • Plan to request instruction sessions 14 days in advance.
  • Plan to attend the library instruction session with your students.
  • Send the library research assignment to the librarian at least seven days in advance.
  • Plan an assignment around which library instruction can be taught (such as an annotated bibliography or literature review).

Instruction requests

Please call, email, or visit if you would like to schedule an instruction. For all instructions, i require at least one in-person meeting prior to teaching.