Decker Library

Teaching & Learning

We know the library can be a powerful learning tool. Let us help you use it. Take a look at what we value and book library instruction.

Request a Session

We kindly require instructions be requested at least one week in advance. For best student engagement, please be ready to share your syllabus and connect the visit to a specific assignment with your librarian.

Please use the links below to schedule an instruction session. You will be taken to our Calendly pages for each type of instruction.

Instruction for a required course (Art Matters, Critical Inquiry, Drawing: Tradition & Innovation, or Modernism and After)

Instruction in the library's classroom (max capacity: 25 students)

Instruction in the library for 12 students or less

Instruction in my own classroom 

Request an Albers's Interaction of Color viewing (no librarian)

Library Instruction Ideas

For custom sessions, please look at our instruction menu below for ideas. Please arrange your sessions as early as possible (at least one week in advance) both to ensure library classroom availability and for your librarian to design a fantastic class.

Decker Library Orientation (minimum 30 minutes)

In this session we introduce new students to Decker Library's books, technology, services, study spaces and special collections. It's a great way to introduce your students to the library and is best paired with one of the two other instruction sessions later in the semester.

Searching Library Databases (minimum 50 minutes)

In this session students learn how to search Decker Library's catalogue and databases strategically and identify the best sources to use for their research assignments. Students will generate keywords related to their topic, assess search results, and distinguish source types or formats including peer-reviewed journal articles. Prior to instruction, students should be introduced to their research assignment and have a possible topic in mind.

Using Digital Images (minimum 30 minutes)

In this session students learn how to search for digital images and use them for academic purposes. Students will create a presentation and properly cite their images.

Thinking Critically About Information Sources, with individual student research time (minimum 50 minutes)

In this session students practice the process of critiquing the usefulness of information sources for their research purpose. The session will be focused primarily on developing critical thinking skills and exploring the complex information ecosystem on the web.

Artists' Books and Archives (45 to 90 minutes)

Decker Library's special collections can be included in an overview of Library resources - or - can form the basis of a session focused on particular subject matter,imagery, techniques, and material culture artifacts of diverse origin. Some examples can be seen on the Decker Library Tumblr. These sessions can focus on Josef Albers's Interaction of Color (1963), the Artists' Books Collection, including Pop-Up Books and Moveable Books, or MICA Archives.

Copyright: Your Rights to Reuse as an Artist (90 min)

This session will address image rights, fair use, and transformative works. The session leader will demonstrate how to find images in databases and websites and discuss Creative Commons licenses, public domain materials, and orphan works.

Personal Digital Archiving

Whether your work takes shape on a computer or in a studio, knowing how to document, organize, and label your work is increasingly important. Requests for documented work might come from your professor, grant funders, potential employers, galleries, and publishers. This workshop will work through best practices for digitization of analog material, born-digital file management, metadata, and organization to help you maintain intellectual control over your personal archive.

Teaching with Wikipedia

This session, geared towards faculty and graduate students, will be focused on how you can use Wikipedia to teach about information literacy, open source software, and Creative Commons licensing.

How to Edit Wikipedia Articles

Students will learn the basics of Wikipedia editing, including best practices and key policies. In an active learning session, they will make small edits to live articles in real time.

Digital Humanities for Art Historians (90 min)

In this session, we'll discuss the increasing use of digital technologies in research, publication and scholarship, and teaching. We'll look at tools that might be useful for art historians, examples of digital scholarship in art history and discuss how digital engagement might affect methodologies and theoretical inquiries.

Omeka in the Classroom: Teaching Tool for Exhibit Building and Cultural Literacy

Omeka is a web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions. In this workshop, we will review what Omeka can do, best practices for metadata creation, image rights and reuse, and elements of online exhibitions as well as how they differ from exhibitions meant for in-person visits.

Researching Community History (90 min)

This session will help students navigate through Baltimore's rich history, with a particular focus on primary source collections available at neighboring institutions. We will review the kinds of topics that could be researched, where to conduct certain types of research, and discuss barriers to access.