Library Courses

The University Library offers several courses, for credit, on enhancing your research skills. Taught by librarians, students will participate in hands-on activities in computer labs, group discussions, and more, designed to maximize your research activities in other courses.

For general information about these courses, see the LSA Course Guide, and register for the course in Wolverine Access. For specific questions about library courses, please contact Doreen Bradley (

ALA 105: Digital Research: Critical Concepts & Strategies 

Struggling with a research topic or paper? Want to gain useful skills to succeed at the University of Michigan and beyond? ALA 105 is the course for you!  This one credit mini-course meets for 2 hours a week for 7 weeks. There is also a completely online section where you can complete course materials anytime convenient for you each week.   This course is open to all undergraduates.  Watch our video!

In ALA 105, you will learn:

  • Online search strategies and research tips to save time

  • Critical evaluation techniques

  • How to find the best evidence and sources for your projects


ALA 270:  Fake News, Lies, and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact from Fiction  

What is “fake news” anyway? Are we living in a post-truth world? This 1 credit mini-course (7 weeks) will provide opportunities to discuss and analyze news production, consumption and evaluation.  

Students will learn to:

  • Develop critical thinking skills necessary to be an informed citizen
  • Understand how their worldview affects their interpretation of the news
  • Create a personal strategy for fact-checking and evaluating the news.


ALA 470: Introduction to Data Visualization

This course will introduce various aspects of data visualization, including data discovery and manipulation, aesthetic theory and principles, and data visualization software. This 3-credit course is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

In this course, you will learn:

  • Advantages for using data visualization to convey complex information
  • Strategies for finding sources of data
  • Methods to create visualizations using different tools 


ALA 470: Advanced Library Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Do you have an in-depth research project this semester? This one-credit mini-course offers students a chance to develop advanced research strategies in the humanities and social sciences while working on an extended project of their choice. The emphasis is on understanding the research process and navigating the conventions of scholarly research. Designed to support a broad range of research assignments, Advanced Library Research will give students a strong foundation in methods and strategies.

Learn and apply:

  • Explore specialized tools for finding sources including techniques for using archives and special collections

  • Think critically about digital sources

  • Map out the scholarly conversation

  • Evaluate how sources fit into and advance their arguments

  • New tools for presenting your research


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Last modified: 11/15/2018