Library Instruction Sessions

To help students and faculty take advantage of the rich research collections available through the Library, the Olin & Uris Research & Learning Services department offers a variety of programs, including course-related library instruction, workshops, tours and orientation sessions.

Course-Related Instruction

We offer course-related instruction to students at all levels, from First-Year Writing Program through upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses.

Partnering with teaching faculty and instructors, these sessions are designed to develop the information literacy skills of our students and to improve the quality of student research. Sessions are tailored to the subject matter of your course and to the specific needs of your students.

Learning Outcomes: An Information-literate Student is able to

  • Develop an effective research strategy to complete a paper, presentation or project.
  • Refine research topics.
  • Identify and locate relevant books.
  • Find articles, primary source materials, statistics, documents and other materials.
  • Critically evaluate information sources according to selected criteria (such as scholarly authority, currency, bias, etc.)
  • Accurately cite and reuse information sources.
  • Use library services for help in the research process.

First-Year Writing Program

Library sessions for Freshmen Writing Seminars are typically held in our hands-on instructional facility. Collaborating with the course instructor, we will design a session to guide students through the process of finding authoritative background information, books, scholarly articles and other resources. The librarian instructor will also create an online library research guide focused on the needs of the course.  For some examples, see our current list of course guides.

We have found that instruction sessions are most effective when

  • There is a specific assignment for which outside sources are needed. Library instructors are happy to collaborate with you to design course-related activities related to the library session.
  • The session is timed to coincide with the assignment. We can work with students when they already have a topic chosen or work with them to identify and develop a topic during the session.
  • The course instructor can be present.
  • Sessions are requested at least two weeks in advance to ensure the availability of a librarian, access to a classroom, and time to plan and prepare the session.

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

Upper-level undergraduate and Graduate Courses

For upper-level and graduate-level courses, we offer a more advanced form of instruction covering complex, discipline-specific resources and search techniques. Depending on the requirements of the course, students will learn how to conduct a comprehensive literature search, manage references, and find and search relevant primary source materials and data. 

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 workshop schedule for class times, dates, further details, and to register for a class. We can also offer customized versions of these workshops for your course or group. Contact the instruction coordinator for more information.


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.  Contact the instruction coordinator for more information.

Instruction and Outreach Lead:
Heather Furnas