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What is a library orientation?

Library orientations introduce students to the library's online catalog and research databases, present effective internet search strategies, and explain how to evaluate information. Most orientations in person (or synchronous) last 45 minutes to an hour. Orientations for classes that do not have a research assignment, but simply need to become familiar with the library and its services, would typically take 30 minutes. Orientations can be shortened, lengthened, customized and/or online.

To discuss ideas for an orientation please fill out the Instruction Request form or contact David McCusker at (916) 484-8748 or

How do I schedule an orientation?

To schedule an orientation (in person or online, synchronous or asynchronous), use the Instruction Request form. You also use this form to request an online library orientation for your class, class resources such as a Research Guide or embedded librarian.

Who can request an orientation?

Orientations are available for all classes at ARC, including outreach centers.

Do you have orientations for online classes?

Yes! We can hold orientations over Zoom, in your Canvas course, and have online tutorials and instructional materials that can serve as an online orientation. Please see the Faculty Services page for more information about our ARC Library Research Tutorials in Canvas. To discuss ideas for an online orientation please fill out the Instruction Request form or contact David McCusker at (916) 484-8748 or

Do I have to attend the orientation with my class?

Instructors are strongly encouraged to attend the in person or synchronous orientations. The instructor's presence reinforces the message that the time spent in the library is important. The experience is much more rewarding for all parties when the instructor attends the orientation.

Where do the orientations meet?

In person orientations are held in the Instruction Lab on the first floor (L108). Alternatively, a librarian can be dispatched to your classroom.

Librarians are also available to meet at the outreach centers.

What is the library computer use policy?

When the library is open, library computers in the 1st floor main computer lab are available for academic use to ARC students on a first-come, first-served basis. Computers in the Instruction Lab are also available on a first-come, first-served basis, however the librarians reserve the lab at times for scheduled orientations. Classroom instructors are encouraged to bring classes over for scheduled library orientations.

What is the policy for use of the library by classes?

Due to space limitations, the library cannot easily absorb unscheduled class visits (i.e. a visit other than a scheduled library orientation). Please be aware that the library is heavily used much of the time. There is no guarantee that there will be available computers or seating for an entire class.

Can't find your answer? Or just want more information?

Contact David McCusker at (916) 484-8748 or