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Instruction Policies

The library offers various options for patrons to learn how to use the resources found in the MSU Library. Faculty can arrange sessions for their students, taught by Reference Librarians, which introduce library databases, library research, or source evaluation, tailored to specific course assignments. In these sessions, attention is given to familiarizing students with new information resources, such as online databases, as well as to traditional printed information sources. Orientations to special subjects are also possible, and have recently included topics such as citation indexing, the U.S. Census, biomedical information, and patents.

Guidelines for Requesting Instruction Sessions

To request library instruction, please submit a request form on the Web, at the Reference Desk, or over the phone (994-3171). When making your request, please keep the following points in mind:
  • At least two weeks advance notice is requested. This allows the librarian adequate time to check on availability of classrooms and resources. It also gives us time to prepare a quality presentation for your class and to prepare appropriate bibliographies and handouts.

  • Please plan to attend the session(s). Doing so will allow for more interaction between the class and the librarian and will improve the session(s) for your students. It also enables you to provide feedback to the librarian, which is an important component in improving this service.

  • Provide the librarian with a copy of any assignment(s) relevant to the session(s) prior to the instruction session(s). This will assist the librarian in developing a session more relevant to your students' needs. Details on creating effective library assignments are available by request.

Other Services Offered

  • Style Sheets. Handouts illustrating bibliographic and note styles recommended by APA, MLA, and Turabian are available at the Reference Desk and on the library webpage. In addition, copies are available for classes on request.
  • Library Orientation Worksheets. Guides to assist the student in using the library catalog and selected indexes which are often used in conjunction with other course assignments. Copies are available at the reference desk.