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Library Services: Librarian Support

A Guide To USMA Library Instruction Services

Librarian Support

USMA liaison librarians provide support to cadets, faculty and staff through comprehensive library services to their respective departments as well as individual cadets and faculty members. These support activities include:

  • Collection development (subject and departmental requests for new resources)
  • Library Instruction both formal and informal
  • Reference research services
  • Subject specific library clinics
  • Personal Librarian Program
  • Library Tours for new cadets, instructors and faculty

Collection Development

The library liaison will work to collect materials in support of departmental academic programs according to the following criteria:

  • Lasting value of the content
  • Appropriateness of treatment level
  • Strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
  • Demand, as determined by, e.g. circulation data and interlibrary loan requests for material on the same or similar subjects
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Suitability of format to content
  • Authority of author
  • Reputation of publisher
  • Reviews in subject-specific and standard library reviewing sources

The general emphasis is to acquire and retain materials which are currently the most authoritative in their fields. The library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases and will use standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection when warranted by curriculum changes and new program additions. However, it is most important to spend funds for valuable current publications of long-term worth, thus preventing a future need for retrospective buying. Except for foreign language dictionaries and a small number of foreign language journals, the library acquires primarily English language reference and research sources.

Library Clinics

Subject specific library clinics are offered throughout the Spring and Fall terms to facilitate greater understanding of library resources available to cadets for specific subject writing assignments. Liaison librarians assigned to departments provide library instruction on these resources. For additional information see our Library Instruction page.

Library Instruction

Formal and informal library instruction is provided by liaison librarians to all academic departments upon request. Formal classroom instruction is coordinated with individual instructors and faculty. Instruction covers broad topics to include:

  • USMA Library Website
  • Databases
  • Connect NY
  • Inter-Library Loan

The goal is to help cadets to research more effectively for their various paper topics.Additional information on library instruction can be found on our Library Instruction page.

Personal Librarian

This year the USMA library has rolled out a personal librarian program for all incoming Plebes. Each departmental librarian is assigned specific companies in the corps of cadets and introduces them via a personal letter of invitation to come into the library and get to know their personal librarian and the people, spaces and resources the library offers.

Reference Research Services

Reference Research Services are available during all library operating hours. Library staff an librarians staff the ASK desk on the second floor of the library and provide support to cadets, faculty and staff for research assistance on a walk in and appointment basis. Staff can answer questions via the desk, phone, email and our new virtual chat available 0900-2100 seven days a week. Stop by the ASK desk to get started early and often on all your research needs.

Library Tours

Library tours and orientations are available throughout the fall and spring terms. Instructors and faculty are encouraged to have cadets tour the library formally and informally to ensure understanding of the library and its resources, services and great study spaces. New faculty and staff can schedule library tours through their department library liaison.