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Faculty Information: Preparing Your Courses

Preparing Courses

Requesting New Materials

We encourage faculty to participate in the development of the collections by recommending the purchase of books and audio-visual materials.

While our primary responsibility is to support the curriculum and the College programs, the Libraries will also support faculty research when possible. See the library's Collection Development Policy for more details. 

To request materials for the library:

New journal subscriptions must be approved by the academic department before the library can start a subscription. Due to increasing journal prices, in order to add a new journal, the department will need to drop subscription(s) of equivalent cost. Contact your library liaison to get information on subscription costs and other information to support the journal request.


Placing Items on Reserves

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, in 2020-21 print reserve service is not available. Guidelines concerning quarantine of circulating library materials render this service inoperable. Whenever possible, we will acquire electronic versions of materials needed for delivery through GLOW.  

Instruction on how to include library resources into an online course packet in Glow

For more information and/or assistance, contact your library liaison.

Streaming Services

We offer:

Terms of library digitizing Services:  

  • Only for library-owned materials
  • Only for films taught in a course 
  • Only when film license does not prohibit streaming

How to request streaming:  

Start in the library catalog: search for the film by title

  1. If the library owns the film
    • Click "Request for Reserve/Streaming" to request the film to be digitized and streamed

  2. If the library does not own the film
    • Use the Suggest A Purchase form (we need to purchase a copy because we only stream library-owned materials)
    • ​Be sure to indicate that it is a priority 1 request and ask for the film to be placed on reserve
    • Answer yes to the streaming question
  3. If the library owns a digitized version (with a link in the library catalog), you may either
    • Link to  that film directly from your Glow course
    • Include it in your Course Reserve request and we will link it for you

For each request, the library will research streaming rights to determine whether we can legally provide a streamed version. If we can proceed with streaming, films will be made available through your Glow course and you will receive an email notification from the Access Services department.  

In the event that we are not legally able to provide a streamed version, we will place the DVD on Reserve for your course.

What's included in the streamed version:

  • When available, English subtitles will be streamed for foreign language films.  If you do not want subtitles included, check that option in the request form
  • Bonus features are not streamed unless you request it by contacting the Access Services - Reserve Assistant, after you submit your request.

Turn around time:  
Streaming requests are processed in the order in which they're received.  Investigation of streaming rights and digitization of the film may take anywhere from 1 day to 4 weeks, depending on the volume of requests.

Support / More Information: 

Teaching Research Skills

Williams College does not have a required course where students learn basic research skills. Instead, library instruction liaisons and Special Collections librarians work with faculty to integrate research skills into their courses. As you prepare your courses, please consider the following options for library instruction. 

Asynchronous Options

  • Embed a librarian in your Glow course. The librarian could

    • Post customized instruction videos in the course

      • Example:  a recording of a Q & A interview between the librarian and professor about doing research for the course

      • Example: a screencast introducing the course research guide and resources

    • Post general instruction videos in course

    • Create and monitor asynchronous discussion threads 

      • Example: Students do a guided document analysis of digitized manuscripts and/or rare books and discuss

      • Example: Students view Algorithms of Oppression and discuss how search engine bias affects research

    • Create an online quiz or other assignment to assess student learning of asynchronous instruction component

  • Select content from the Information Literacy Toolkit to use in your Glow course

  • Request a customized course research guide

  • Post your librarian's virtual trading card to your Glow course

  • Encourage student to use our Ask a Librarian service

Synchronous Options

  • Schedule an in-person session in a library classroom or your course classroom. We partner with faculty to support the research goals for the course. We can teach topics such as:
    • formulating a research question
    • searching strategically
    • examining search engine bias and systems of power in libraries
    • evaluating news and web sources
    • managing information using EndNote
    • writing a literature review
      and more! 

    It is best if the concepts learned in the library session can be applied to an assignment in your course. If you do not have such an assignment, see our Creating Information Literacy Assignments page or ask your library liaison for ideas.

  • Use a flipped classroom approach with video(s)/assignment done beforehand and an in-person class session to extend and deepen the learning.
  • Schedule a brief class visit.
    • Example: Introduction of the liaison librarian and encouragement to schedule research appointments

    • Example: Introduction of the liaison librarian and research guide for the course

    • Example: Introduction to digitized sources in Special Collections

  • Encourage students to schedule individual or group research appointments
    • In Special Collections: individual appointments for students to consult with material. Works best if there’s a specific assignment the students are responding to, like a short presentation or writing assignment. Contact Special Collections to schedule an appointment.

    • For Sawyer and Schow:  Students can use the research appointments scheduler.


Contact your library instruction liaison or Special Collections.

Working with Special Collections

What is Special Collections? 

The Special Collections department comprises Chapin Library and College Archives. It provides access to rare and unique materials. 

Chapin Library collects rare books, manuscripts, and other primary source materials, both ancient and modern, in support of the Williams curriculum.

 The College Archives is concerned with the history of Williams, and administers other special collections and books from the earliest libraries of the College.

How to work with materials in Special Collections

  • You may discover many resources through the library catalog. Consult a Special Collections librarian to learn about the complete scope of the collection, including uncataloged materials.   
  • Some materials have been digitized and are available through UNBOUND, the college's institutional repository
  • Materials do not circulate, but are available for use in the reading room (Sawyer, room 441)
  • Reading room hours

Including Special Collections materials in your courses

Special Collections librarians are available to work with you and your students.  They offer:   

  • Class presentations and instruction sessions tailored to faculty needs
  • Instruction on research methods using rare books and archives
  • Short-term collaborative exhibitions related to coursework in the Instruction Gallery
  • Talks about Special Collections displays, including the Founding Documents of the United States
  • Research appointments 

Faculty are invited to suggest special collections acquisitions in support of courses or research interests.

Presentations and instruction sessions are offered in these spaces: 

  • Special Collections Instruction Room (Sawyer Room 452), seating 24
  • Seminar Room, seating 8
  • Galleries

Archiving your Syllabi

College Archives archives course syllabi for several purposes:

  • as a reference copy for students in your course
  • as a reference copy for students exploring which courses to take
  • as proof of the content of a course for students going to graduate school
  • as a historical record of courses provided at Williams College​

We archive syllabi in electronic form only. Please e-mail your syllabi as attachments to

For further information about collections and services or to schedule an appointment contact a Special Collections librarian


GLOW and library resources

The library works closely with the Office of Information Technology to integrate library content (articles, book chapters, streaming media) and services (Research Guides, Ask A Librarian service) into your GLOW courses. To that end we offer: 

  • Scanning services to enable you to integrate library-owned books and journal articles in Glow 
  • Streaming Services to make library films available through Glow
  • Integration of Research Guides, highlighting resources and search strategies and created by librarians for your course 

For assistance with library resources, contact your library liaison 

For assistance with uploading content into Glow, contact your ITech liaison

Scanning Services


  • Free photocopying is available to faculty and their designated proxies, by using the copier by-pass keys (available at the Circulation Desk in Sawyer and Services Desk in Schow). Locations of photocopiers:
    • Sawyer - Level 3 Printing/Photocopying Room (321)
    • Sawyer - Level 1 Printing/Photocopying Room (121)
  • Document senders (scanners with email delivery) are available in Sawyer and Schow and enable easy creation of PDFs

Library Service

Faculty may request scans of library materials. 

  • We will scan journal articles or book chapters/sections
  • Limit to one copy of each article or book chapter (due to copyright restrictions)
  • Multiple chapters of a book will be copied only after obtaining permission
  • Scans will be delivered via your interlibrary loan account within 24 hours Monday-Friday (no service on weekends; Friday requests are delivered on Monday afternoon.

To request scans: submit requests through the interlibrary loan system

Advising Theses Students

All honors theses written by Williams undergraduates are treated as holdings of the Williams College Libraries.  Faculty advising student honors theses should review the College's theses guidelines and share this information with their students. Faculty should be aware of guidelines and procedures, including format and title page guidelines, student/faculty release requirements, and deposit deadlines.  

Students submit their thesis electronically as a pdf using our form. The faculty advisor will be asked via email to approve the student's selections regarding access to the thesis.

Theses without access restrictions are available in Unbound: Williams Online Collections.

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or highly affordable textbooks and learning materials that can be widely shared and/or transformed with the permission of the original author. 

OER Resources

OER Textbooks

Open Course Materials

Open Journals

Open AudioVisual


Source: Hudson Valley Community College Course Reserves Research Guide

It is important for instructors, librarians and students to note that from a copyright law perspective, there is no distinction between traditional reserves and e-reserves. The same fair use guidelines apply to e-reserves. If the particular use of the content does not meet the fair use criteria in hard copy format, it is unlikely to be considered fair use in electronic format.

Instructional materials may be posted to GLOW or a course website under any of the following circumstances:

  • The material is made available by linking to content in a library research database or online resource rather than copying.
    • Use of copyrighted materials will be subject to individual licensing agreements.  Whenever possible the college will provide assistance with direct linking to requested materials in accord with individual licensing agreements. 
  • The use intended of the material falls within fair use under copyright law, Creative Commons licensing or under another copyright exception, or
  • The material has been designated open access by the copyright owner, or
  • The material is in the public domain, or
  • The copyright owner of the material grants permission.

Contact a librarian if you have any questions about whether or not you can use a particular material in a particular way.

Creative Commons

Curious about what Creative Commons licensing means or how you can employ it to share your materials and protect them at the same time? Check out the Creative Commons Licensing research guide from Hudson Valley Community College.