The First Year Experience Library Program (FYE) of the United States Military Academy Library, is part of a larger mission dedicated to educating cadets with the information skills they will need to become life-long learners, critical thinkers, and effective leaders. The FYE Program forms the foundation of the Library's instruction program, where it introduces the Plebe class to fundamental information literacy concepts, library resources, and services.
The listing below outlines the Library’s offerings for its FYE program. While there is some repetition in learning outcomes (we believe this is beneficial to the learning process), our objective is to make each instruction session informative and unique. Instructors, please note that these sessions are flexible, and can be tailored to suit individual needs.
Instructors who are interested in scheduling an instruction session can contact their Library Liaison.
Description: New Cadets receive a short (20-minute) introduction to the library during the second week of Cadet Basic Training. The presentation is generally given in Robinson Auditorium, by several members of the Library staff from different areas of the Library (Information Services, Unique Collections).
Audience: New cadets in Cadet Basic Training
Class time: 20 min.
Method: Presentation, with time for Q&A.
Description: Starting in the fall of 2017, company academic officers can arrange with librarians to have tours of the library for their first year cadets. Personal librarians will give a guided tour and first year cadets will learn about the layout and history of the library.
Audience: First year cadets
Class Time: 45 minutes
Here at the USMA Library we understand how daunting the first year of college can be, especially for Cadets, who have to balance not only academics, but military duties and athletics. The Personal Librarian Program was created with this in mind, and provides a point of contact in the Library for all Plebes. Its goals are to alleviate the fears that students often have about asking for help and forge relationships that last beyond Plebe year.
Our Personal Librarians are dedicated to helping Plebes feel confident and comfortable in the Library. They can help students evaluate and identify the best resources, formulate search strategies, navigate the Library’s services and more. No question is too large or small!
Method: Personal Librarians send letters at the beginning of each semester to assigned Plebes.
Description: The Amazing USMA Library Race is designed to rapidly acquaint Plebes with Library resources and personnel through active engagement. Teams of 2-3 cadets race to be the first to answer a series of self-guided, problem- based questions. During the game, cadets use their computers to access library resources, interact with Library staff members and learn about Library services. Awareness and use of these resources and services will enhance their success as Plebes, and assist them in developing the information acquisition and usage skills which will be needed throughout their time at West Point and during their Army career.
Audience: Cadets enrolled in RS101/RS100
Class time: 55 minutes
Method: Active class within the USMA Library (not confined to a classroom).
Description: This lesson is designed as an introduction to the Library. Plebes will learn about research guides, Connect NY/ILL, consulting librarians and CHAT. Following this brief survey of Discover pages services, cadets will participate in scout searching, learning how to refine their search with delimiters. They will also learn about the options of databases-only and catalog-only searching, and how to do so, using Issues &Controversies and Opposing Viewpoints as working examples. In the process we discuss the importance of narrowing topics and evaluating sources, LC classification, call number organization, and finding books on the shelf. If time permits, four groups identify a desirable book via scout/catalog, retrieve it from the shelf, and report on the experience including issues encountered and the reasons for their resource choice.
Audience: Students enrolled in EN 101/100
Class time: 25 min
Description: This lesson is designed to introduce Plebes to the USMA Library. They will learn about the service points, advanced SCOUT techniques, finding items in the stacks, and narrow topics. They will also find out about the services offered by the Librarians and how they can assist with research.
Audience: Cadets enrolled in HI108/158
Class time: 35 Minutes
Description: The Library instruction component of RS103 supports the course objectives of improving cadet information literacy and critical thinking performance at USMA. The USMA Library classes focus on the processes involved in research, with an emphasis on finding and evaluating information sources.
Audience: Students enrolled in RS 103: Information Literacy and Critical Thinking
Class time: 45 min