Library Instructional Services

The Barnard Library Instructional Services department offers a range of services to advance the library's mission of supporting excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.

Our aim is to foster the development of critical thinking skills about information, assisting students in becoming more efficient and effective users of information resources, both for curricular purposes and for their personal lives and professional careers.

Course-Specific Library Instruction

Faculty: click here to request a library instruction session for your class

Librarians design and teach library instruction sessions to teach students about the information resources needed for specific coursework and research. These sessions include:

  • The use of the online catalog, CLIO
  • Selected bibliographic, statistical, and other information sources in print or electronic format
  • Research methodologies appropriate for various disciplines
  • Use of the Web for research, and critical evaluation of sources
  • Hands-on experience in working with databases, when the class is held in the Instruction Lab in 113 LeFrak. (The librarian can also come to another classroom.)
  • Research guides and handouts are normally prepared for these classes.

First Year English Library Instruction

Every student in the first year at Barnard attends a session in the Library with her First Year Writing class (ENGL 1201/1204), either in the fall or the spring semester.  This includes an introduction to finding books and reference materials, using the scholarly databases and evaluating the material found. It also provides hands-on experience with searching. There is an accompanying online research guide.

Library Orientation Tours

Orientation tours are provided for First Year students during the New Student Orientation Program at the beginning of the fall semester. In addition, any individual or group wishing for an introduction to the physical layout of the library and a brief look at our online resources may request a tour.

One-on-One Research Consultations

Current members of the Barnard and Columbia community are welcome to make an appointment for a consultation with a Barnard research librarian. This service, which is intended for library users who need in-depth, advanced help with their research, can provide instruction in creating effective research strategies, help with identifying the best resources, in print or online, or an overview of new resources in a particular subject area. Sign-up for a consultation online.

The Personal Librarian Program

The Personal Librarian program gives library users a personalized and direct link to the library. Each First Year student and each academic department is matched with a Personal Librarian (PL) who serves as a single point of contact for the library - a "go-to" person for all things library-related. Your PL answers general library orientation questions, including Archives, Educational Technology and Media Services, and helps you navigate the Columbia University Library offerings, among other things.

Plagiarism Resources

Barnard College takes the issue of plagiarism very seriously. The library provides resources to help students learn about plagiarism and how to avoid it:

Reference Management Software

Barnard Library offers a variety of resources for assisting you in learning about Mendeley, Zotero and other ways of managing your references:

Research Guides

Our research guides list and describe resources that are useful in particular subject areas, or that are recommended for research for specific classes.