Reference and Instruction

Reference Assistance

Reference librarians assist cadets, faculty, staff, members of the community, and other library patrons by answering library related and research specific questions.  Librarians answer questions in person at the reference desk, which is located adjacent to the main lobby, on the street level.  During the academic year the reference desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 0800 - 1630, and evenings Monday through Thursday from 1900 - 2200.

Reference librarians can also teach all of our patrons to use the print and electronic resources available at Preston Library.  Librarians help develop search strategies that empower library users to find needed information.

Librarians are also available for personal research consultations to assist our cadets and faculty with their ongoing research projects.  To schedule an individual consultation please contact the Reference Desk.

Classroom Instruction

Library orientations and bibliographic instruction are available for any VMI class to help cadets take full advantage of the ever expanding and improving resources available. Librarians identify appropriate resources, describe their scope, demonstrate the mechanics of their use, explain useful search strategies, and provide evaluation guidelines.

Instruction sessions cover an unlimited range of levels, including tours and orientations given to those participating in the Summer Transition Program (STP) and to new cadets; instruction in basic research materials and methods for introductory courses; and in-depth instruction on specialized resources for upper-level courses. Instruction is often designed to meet the specific needs of the class.

Faculty members may arrange for library instruction by contacting