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Finding and Using Information: Library Skills classes for students

Library Overviews, tours, visits and workshops

The library provides overview sessions online and in person for new and returning students at the start of the academic year. In addition, tours of the library are provided on request or as part of Orientation. Contact the library if you have a group that needs such a session if one of the scheduled sessions on our public calendar does not suit. If you wish to book a group in for a tour please send the details to Please browse the library classes listed below and direct students to any that you feel would benefit their academic work. Workshops to support researchers, including Python, Open Refine, Research Data Management and EndNote Desktop for Beginners, and Advanced, are also displayed on our events calendar.

Study Skills and Time Management

Presented by Librarian Micheál O hAodha, this session will teach you productivity tips so that you get the best out of your time when studying in the library.  You will gain familiarity with some University jargon that you might not know e.g. referencing, journals, ebooks, literature searching, plagiarism, planning an assignment. You will have learnt some tips for effective academic reading.

Suitable for: All students

Consult the library's Getting Ready for Academic Study tutorial which teaches you how to ready yourself practically and mentally for your first term.


Finding Books and Articles

This online session with Librarian Jesse Waters will show you how to use the library`s resources and answer the key questions you might have as new UL students e.g.

  • Where do I find information? 
  • How to search the library catalogue and use its features to refine results?
  • How do I access a book, electronic book, and journal article? 
  • Why should I use the library catalogue when I have Google?
  • Who can help me find material for my assignments?

Suitable for: 1st years, new international and Taught Postgraduate students.

Searching Online Databases

On completion of this session with Librarian Jesse Waters, you will...

  • Know how to access databases provided in the library.
  • Be able to identify keywords and synonyms.
  • Understand Boolean search techniques and use them.
  • Know how to critically evaluate sources.

Suitable for: All students.


Citing it Right: an introduction to Harvard UL

This session with Librarian Jesse Waters provides a brief introduction on how to use the Harvard UL style of referencing to reference your assignment. Jesse will cover rules surrounding citations, the reference list, when and how to quote in your paper, and give you examples for books, journal articles, and online sources. 

On completion of this session, you will...

  • Understand what referencing is
  • Learn when and how to quote in an assignment
  • Know what the essential elements of referencing are
  • Be able to read a reference and locate a source

Suitable for: 1st year students 

While this event is aimed at First Year students and those unfamiliar with referencing, anyone is welcome to attend.

Take the library's tutorial on Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism to learn how to discuss other people's ideas constructively and safely within your assignments. 

Harvard UL Referencing Workshop

This workshop with Librarian Jesse Waters will help you get familiar with citing and referencing using Harvard UL in an informal classroom setting. In small groups or individually, you will be required to cite and reference a variety of sources such as books, articles, and online sources. This is a practical workshop intended to compliment the theoretical webinar Citing it right: an introduction to Harvard UL.

Suitable for: 1st years, students new to referencing/Harvard UL style.

Take the library's tutorial on Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism to learn how to discuss other people's ideas constructively and safely within your assignments. 

How to use EndNote Web for your academic referencing

This is a drop-in session on how to use the UL-subscribed EndNote package to manage your references and create formatted bibliographies for your assignments. The session takes place from 6-7pm on Wednesday evenings in the Small Training Room in the Library, GL0 008. No booking required, just drop in. 
Presented by Student Peer Advisors to facilitate peer learning.


After attending this session with Librarian Micheál O hAodha, you will know

  • Why it is important to take good notes
  • How to plan what you do before, during and after a lecture
  • How to file the notes you take
  • Some of the basics of the different methods of notetaking

Suitable for: All students

Take the library's Reading and Notemaking tutorial to learn strategies for selecting relevant information and approaches, and for making effective notes that will prove useful later on.

Canva Walk Thru

Canva is a free online graphic design tool that you can use to create professional looking images and presentations for your academic work. This will be a demonstration by Librarian Jesse Waters with some practical tips on how to use Canva.

Suitable for: All students, researchers and staff.

Presenting your research visually

Have you ever considered how to present you research in a visual medium such as a poster or infographic? This session will teach you some basic concepts of graphic design to help you create an academic poster for an assignment of conference. Includes some practical tips on how to use Canva, a free online graphic design tool also.

On completion of this session with Librarian Jesse Waters you will...

  • Have a basic understanding of Canva.
  • Be familiar with some basic principles of graphic design including concept, purpose, use of colour, and font types.

Suitable for: All students.

Sourcing copyright free images for your assignments

Using images in your assignments or presentations can really add to the impact of your work and help you to illustrate an idea or convey meaning! It is very easy to find images online that you can download and import to a Word or Powerpoint file, but what if you want to use someone else’s photo, image or artwork in your project or thesis, is this even allowed? This class will introduce you to the Do's and Don’ts around the use of images in your assignments.
At the end of this session with Librarian Michelle Breen you will know:

  • A little bit about copyright and how it protects peoples’ creations, their images in particular
    Where to find high quality, free to use, images for your UL assignments
    How to correctly cite/reference an image that you find online in your assignments.​​

Suitable for: All students.


Set up for success with your FYP

On completion of this session with Librarian Micheál O hAodha Final Year students will be able to

  • Define your research question
  • Develop search strategies
  • Explore and understand the scholarly literature in your discipline
  • Manage your references with a reference manager

Suitable for: Final Year students.

7 Steps to Assignment Success

On completion of this session with Librarian Peter Reilly, students will be

  • Capable of developing a strategy for your assignment
  • Aware of the library’s collections in each subject area that help you prepare your assignment
  • Confident in using the library’s print and digital resources
  • Able to critically evaluate scholarly information sources

Suitable for: All students

Critically Evaluating sources using the CRAAP test

CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. In this online session with Librarian Peter Reilly, learn how to apply the CRAAP Test to critically evaluate information sources and develop confidence and skills in identifying high quality scholarly information. 

Suitable for: All students. 

Take the library's tutorial on Critical Thinking to develop your skills in evaluating information and help you analyse other people’s work, and your own, in a critical way.

Spotting Fake News and Misinformation

After attending this class with Librarian Peter Reilly, students will be

  • Able to identify Fake News in various forms
  • Aware of the the role that Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays in promoting fake news
  • Able to recognize how fake news can undermine democracy
  • Able to apply Fact Checking as an effective remedy
  • Able to build your skills in critically evaluating information. 

Suitable for: All students.

Doing a Literature Review

After attending this session with Librarian Micheál O hAodha you will

  • Know what Library Guide to use to select the best scholarly sources for your searches
  • Know how to begin searching, and start to refine your results
  • Be able to create a folder of relevant reading material
  • Develop keywords as part of your search strategy for your chosen research topic
  • Navigate to the most suitable resources in the library's collections for your literature searches
  • Differentiate between source types, selecting only the scholarly material appropriate for your thesis
  • Read and understand citations so that you can further and refine your searches. 

Suitable for: Taught postgraduate students who are currently doing or will soon need to conduct a literature review.

Thesis Preparation

As you begin your work for your thesis, you will need to have a good research question, a well-planned search strategy and know the best scholarly sources for your searches.

The library has a guide to thesis preparation and in this webinar Librarian Micheál O hAodha will guide you towards the best sources and show you how to approach your literature search.

After attending this session you will be familiar with library resources and supports and understand some of the critical skills you will need as you carry out the research required for a masters thesis e.g. information seeking, source appraisal and academic referencing.

Suitable for: Taught postgraduate students