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To help patrons take advantage of the vast array of information resources now available through the Library, Research & Learning Services offers a variety of educational opportunities for students and faculty. Our goal is to meet the needs of our teaching faculty in educating their students on how to conduct library research promoting information literacy in the Cornell community.

An Information Literate Student Will:

  • Develop and deploy a research strategy in order to complete a paper, presentation or project effectively.
  • Utilize encyclopedias and other reference sources to explore and refine research topics.
  • Search library catalogs effectively to locate books and other relevant materials.
  • Select and search appropriate databases to discover useful articles.
  • Evaluate information sources critically according to selected criteria (such as scholarly authority, currency, bias, etc.) in order to select pertinent sources.
  • Cite sources accurately in order to use information ethically and responsibly.
  • Know when to use library services in order to get help in the research process.

Course-Related Instruction

We offer course-related instruction to students at all levels. We work closely with the First-Year Writing Program but we also provide instruction for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses. During a class session in our hands-on instructional facility, we give students an overview of the library system, explain library research methodology, and provide a hands-on experience with the Cornell Library Catalog and appropriate networked resources. Each student also receives a web-based bibliography of reference materials relevant to a specific library assignment. See the list of course guides.

Many upper-level undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell are reasonably comfortable using the libraries, but there are times when a new course demands the use of unfamiliar resources that can be frustrating to even the most sophisticated library user. Census material, government documents, complex databases, and microforms are among the sources that can cause difficulties. For students needing such materials, we offer a more advanced form of instruction keyed to the specific needs of the course. Upper division students are also more focused on a specific discipline and can benefit from an advanced orientation to the literature in their field.

To request a session please fill out our online instruction request form.


These classes on using citation management software, library research, and information management, are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the Cornell community. Check the schedule for class times, dates, further details, and to register for a class.


We also offer a variety of orientation activities for new students and faculty. These activities include tours, library research sessions, and special sessions for international students.

Coordinator for Instruction:
Tony Cosgrave
109 Uris Library

01/21/2015 - 2:58pm - ajc5