Library Instructional Services

Barnard Library 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: Request a library instruction session for your class online.

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

  • 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 Milstein 225 (The librarian can also come to another classroom.)

Course research guides and/or handouts are normally prepared for these classes.

First Year Writing Library Instruction

Every student in the first year at Barnard attends a session in the Library with a 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 for each section.

New Student Orientation Program Library Open House

A library open house is  provided for First Year students during the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) at the beginning of the fall semester.

Library Orientation Tours

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. You can also download a detailed floorplan of the library. 

One-on-One Research Consultations

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 want personal 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 direct and personalized 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.

Resources for Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

Barnard Library offers a variety of resources for assisting you with citing sources and using reference management software:

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

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.