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United States Military Academy Library

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Library Instruction

Library liaisons can help you develop instruction to support cadet learning objectives and succeed on class projects or papers. 


To request library instruction, please fill out this form: Information Literacy Instruction Request

Library Instruction

We can support cadets and faculty in a variety of ways. Here are some examples of previous library instruction in support of the curriculum and cadet activities. 

In Class Instruction: We have offered library orientations to HI108: International History that are in the library during class time. We offer classes on research skills for cadets completing their capstone and thesis requirements. We also work with RS100/101 to do a fun interactive library orientation called the Amazing USMA Library Race. 

Evening Clinics in support of classes such as SS307: International Relations, SS201, and SS202. These are generally 30 minute clinics to help cadets learn how to find the sources they need to successfully write the papers for these classes.

USMA Library Archives and Special Collections: Schedule a visit to the historic West Point Room to view original materials related to your course. Past visits include American History, Military History, History of the Book, English Composition, English Literature, and more. 

What type of library instruction is available?

What type of library instruction is available? There are many library topics that cadets struggle with as they learn how to use an academic library. Below are some of the many topics that we can cover:

  • How to use the library website
  • How to search Scout & databases
  • What does a librarian do?
  • Citation management software (ex. Zotero)
  • Source types (ie. Primary, scholarly, etc.)
  • Research as a process for capstones/theses
  • How to conduct research effectively
  • Special Collection & Archives research
  • Anything else library related you can think of!


When does library instruction happen?

  • During the class hour for an individual instructor
    • i.e. English classes visiting the Special Collections and Archives, or HI108 library instruction
  • During ESP for a course-wide class
    • i.e. Evening clinics for the SOSH paper
  • Dean’s Hour
    • i.e., Systems Engineering Capstone Brief
  • As requested
    • i.e., At the start of an academic competition that requires research to be successful


Where does library instruction occur?

  • Typically, we will conduct library instruction in the library, but we can come to you if it makes sense.


How do I schedule library instruction?

Other ways library liaisons can help your course

Research Guides: Liaisons can work with you to create an online guide to give cadets a place to start their research for a large assignment. These can be created for large core courses, or smaller courses. Contact your liaison and look at these examples below to learn more.

Individual Consultations: Cadets and Faculty can also meet individually with a librarian.

  • Librarians will share advanced search techniques to aid the research effort.
  • Ideally for more in-depth assistance, contact the librarian with information on your research topic and what you have done already to schedule an appointment.
  • You can also come to the Help Desk on the 2nd floor and get help from any librarian.


Find out what materials are currently on reserve. Search by course number (ex. HI 108), instructor's name, or title.


Course Reserves are located on the 2nd floor of the library. Instructors can place materials on reserve for cadet use. Materials can be owned by the library or by the instructor.


All library materials are marked with a use category:

  • “Reserve – Do not take” - Item must remain in Course Reserves for use by all patrons.
  • “Reserve – Overnight Loan” – Item may be checked out after 2100 and must be returned by 1000 the following day.
  • “Reserve – 7 day Loan” – Item may be checked out for one week

All instructor-owned material must remain in Course Reserves.

Cadets may use a photocopier near the Course Reserves to make copies of materials.


Use this form to request materials (books, DVDs, CDs, physical journals, instructional book equipment, and other items) for addition to Course Reserves. Please allow a few days for processing, especially at the beginning of the semester. Requests to add material can be made at any time throughout the year.


If you have any questions, please contact

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