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Faculty Resources

Whether you are new or returning, there is a lot to catch up with at Decker Library - - new books, films/videos, journals, databases, & more. Here are ways to improve your own or your students’ research skills.

Research Instruction Sessions

Instruction sessions can be tailored to work with a variety classes and projects. Below are some sample sessions to provide ideas about what can be covered and the length of time needed. Please allow us at least a week's notice to prepare for your class instruction. You may request and schedule instruction here. To learn more, contact the Information Desk by email (refer@mica.edu) or phone (410-225-2273, ext. 2273 on campus).

Introduction to the Decker Library

Introduce your class to the Decker Library with this 45-60 minute session. This session includes:

  • A brief overview of the Library services
  • Points of service - e.g. circulation, information desks, pay-for-print & scanning station
  • Quick overview of the library's website offerings
  • Book, journal and media collection locations
  • Interpreting call numbers to find materials

Research Instruction

These sessions can be a basic introduction to library research or can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific project or class. At least 60 minutes should be alloted for these sessions which can include:

  • Advanced searching strategies in the Decker Library catalog
  • Using subscription databases such as JSTOR and Art Full Text effectively
  • How to evaluate websites and other free online resources
  • Time for research with the assistance of a Librarian

Image Resource Instruction

An in-depth look at how to find images using both print and web-based resources. These 60 minute or longer sessions can include:

  • Finding images in the Decker Library catalog
  • Locating images in print based materials
  • Using specific image databases like ARTstor
  • Evaluating images and databases on the web

Collections Use

Classes are invited to schedule research opportunities whether it's with a librarian or not; to use the main collection or special collections. Because of the heavy use of the Digital Library and main areas of the Library, classes may only be scheduled if they are here to use the collection for research. Drop-ins to do research on your own are welcome yet scheduling is advised so that we might reserve a space for you. To learn more please contact the Information Desk at 410-225-2273 (ext. 2273 on campus) or refer@mica.edu. Examples of the teaching materials that are often consulted here are:

  • Artists' Books - The library's teaching collection of artists' books is available for group class visits. Please consult the Book Arts Catalog to choose items for your class and email the list to the library in advance. Artists' books are also available for individual in-house use by any visitor to the library, up until 30 minutes before closing time.
  • Josef Albers' Interaction of Color (1963) - This title is frequently used in the Elements of Visual Thinking curriculum; the library has two copies of this portfolio of silk-screened pieces demonstrating Albers' color theories. One set is complete and can be consulted only in groups facilitated by a faculty member. The second set is incomplete and can be used in-house by any individual visitor to the library. There is also an iPad available for faculty to check out for in-house use in order to present the Interaction of Color mobile app (which is installed on the iPads). Registration is required for borrowing the iPad; please refer to this document for registration details, or email refer@mica.edu for more information.
  • Reference Books - The Library's reference collection contains comprehensive resources on a wide variety of subjects, including catalogues raisonne for important artists, design and illustration annuals, and guides to museum collections.

Click here to schedule a class visit for collections use.


Groups requesting library tours may contact the Information Desk at 410-225-2273 (ext. 2273 on campus) or refer@mica.edu.

This page was last updated on 05/04/2017.