Indiana State University Library

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Visiting the ISU Library:
Guidelines for Non-ISU School Groups

The ISU Library invites & encourages public school groups to use its facilities and resources. Policies and procedures have been developed to assure a positive learning experience for all. For more information, call Public Services (812) 237-2541.


Teachers/school media specialists wishing to arrange group/class visits should contact the Library AT LEAST 2 WEEKS IN ADVANCE to request a visit. All plans for class/group visits to the ISU Library are coordinated through the Public Services Department, (812) 237-2541.

A checklist of information requested will be found below. Most instruction is geared toward the high school student, but requests for instruction to lower grades will be considered. While ISU is a community resource and we wish to publicize its benefits, often elementary students are not conducting research requiring the use of a university library. We do not offer building tours for groups.

When you call to schedule an instructional session, please provide:

  • class/group name and school affiliation; contact person(s) and phone number(s);
  • desired date and time of visit and alternate dates and times in the event of a scheduling conflict;
  • approximate number of students and adults in the group;
  • purpose of the visit (including any specific topics/subject areas/projects students will be investigating); i.e., what should be emphasized and for what ultimate educational purpose/assignment;
  • planned length of visit;
  • if students plan on checking out materials (grades 9-12 only);
  • method of travel; if group is traveling by bus, a campus map can be requested from Public Services indicating where the bus should unload; teachers are invited to contact the Office of Public Safety (812-237-5555) for more specific information about bus parking;
  • eating plans; Campus Commons appreciates notification that large groups are visiting campus; Public Services will make the contact for your group.


    Sessions are held in the Instruction Classroom (230); computers are available. Group size should be limited to approximately 30 students per visit (max. 40). There should be at least one supervising adult for every 30 middle & high school students (gr. 6-12); two supervising adults for every 30 elementary school students. Keep in mind that the first eight weeks of each academic semester at ISU are heavily scheduled with library instruction sessions; however, every effort will be made to accommodate all requests. In cases of scheduling request conflicts; library instruction for ISU academic groups will take precedence over community group library instruction.

    Under normal circumstances, no public school groups should schedule visits during the final two weeks of the semesters due to an increased need for quiet study space for ISU students.

    WHAT IS INCLUDED: A visit should have a clear instructional purpose; e.g., students should have topics they are ready to research. A session conducted by Research/Instruction librarians typically includes location information (services of various library departments), information on organization of library materials (especially Library of Congress Classification), demonstration of the online catalog and online indexes to magazine and journal articles. Internet resources will be covered upon request/as appropriate. Library check-out policies for high school students are discussed. Handouts are distributed at the discretion of the instruction librarian based on the needs of the group.

    Following the lecture/demonstration, students use the Instruction Classroom computers to look up their resources. The librarian may remain to help them as needed. {Students can also use the PCs located throughout the building.}

    The entire sequence of lecture/demo and lab time typically runs about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

    Students can retrieve and check out materials, make copies, etc. The Basement and 3rd floors are quiet spaces. If going to lunch in the campus Food Court, the instruction room will be locked and materials will be secure.

    COPYING MATERIALS: Laser printing, photocopies and microfilm copies cost 10 cents per page. A change machine is available in the building. There are coin operated machines on the first floor. Scanners are available on some 1st floor public computers. Guests can scan print materials and then e-mail as attachments to their personal e-mail accounts.

    DECORUM: Out of consideration for other library users, visiting students are expected to behave in an appropriate manner; i.e., work quietly. The supervising adult(s) accompanying the group must actively assume full responsibility for the behavior of the group. Library staff will also respond to inappropriate behavior.


    LIBRARY BASICS: It is expected that non-ISU students will have received information about basic library organization and resources from their school librarian/teacher. Since ISU instruction librarians will plan their instruction based on this premise, students should be familiar with standard library concepts and resources prior to their visit, for example: how to use print or online indexes [e.g. INSPIRE]; plus an understanding of library classification systems (e.g., Dewey Decimal) and card/online catalog, Internet for research purposes. Note: Library home page is at Many library resources under "Electronic Resources" are restricted to ISU/on-campus use. Online resources to help prepare for research are located at LibGuides and at Research Guides & Tutorials

    REQUESTING BORROWING PRIVILEGES (HIGH SCHOOL GROUPS ONLY): High school students may check out ISU Library materials. They must first submit a letter requesting borrowing privileges, on their school letterhead, signed by a school official and parent/legal guardian. A sample checkout form may be downloaded at . Circulation policies are available at".

    The teacher/librarian should put the signed letters in alphabetical order by students' last names. These letters may be brought ONE WEEK in advance to the Circulation Desk, or mailed one week in advance to the Library, (Attention: Circulation, ISU Library, Indiana State University, Terre Haute IN 47809) with a note indicating the date of the visit. At the time of the visit, students may obtain their borrower's cards even if they do not check out books.


    It is customary to have students rendezvous in the outer lobby at the end of the visit. If attendance needs to be taken, please keep the noise factor in mind. It takes time to check out books; be sure students allow enough time to do so before the rendezvous/departure time.

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