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Information Services Desk: Reference

Reference General Information

Reference Contact Information

McDermott Library

2354 Fairchild Drive

Suite 3B4

USAFA, CO 80840


A reference librarian is on duty all hours the library is open. Librarians assist users with information inquiries ranging from factual questions to complex research projects. Point-of-use instruction for online catalogs and other electronic databases is available. Librarians identify and locate materials on and off-campus, provide reference service, and perform simple and comprehensive database searching. Reference Desk staff may be reached by phone at (719)333-4406 or emailing

Library staff are available to assist classes or other groups on using the library and its resources effectively. Assistance includes briefings on resources, tours, online catalog instruction, and searching electronic resources. Faculty may contact the Chief of the Reference Branch to schedule library instruction (333-4406).

The Academy Library has access to a wide variety of electronic databases, indexing & abstracting tools and online search services for patrons to search directly. Go to the Library website and click on Libguides to locate a database A-Z List.  Don't know which database to use?  Check out the LibGuides for each subject area.  

Each academic department has a reference/subject librarian acting as liaison who is knowledgeable in the information resources for that department. A faculty member should coordinate with their subject librarian regarding specialized research or preparation of bibliographies. When a large number of cadets are to be assigned a special research project or paper requiring library resources, faculty members are strongly urged to contact the Chief of the Reference Branch or their subject librarian so that reference staff may arrange for bibliographic instruction and/or prepare resources in advance.

As subject specialists, each Reference Librarian is responsible for selection of all materials in a variety of formats in his/her specific subject areas. They do so to support the USAFA curriculum and programs, and anticipate ideas and information that will become useful to future cadets. Every reader can and should influence the shape of the collections by giving recommendations for titles of interest directly to the subject librarian most closely associated with the subject at hand or by submitting book purchase recommendations electronically to

The subject librarians are responsible for library collection development in assigned subject areas and try to maintain a balanced collection to meet the curricular, informational, and recreational and research needs of cadets, faculty, and support staff within our budgetary constraints. All requests for new books and periodicals are reviewed by subject librarians. Questions concerning the status or orders should be directed to them.

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U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-2590 DSN: 333-2590, Updated 8 Apr 2018
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