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Instruction at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries

Instruction for SAIC Classes

The Ryerson & Burnham Libraries offer topic-driven and general library orientations for SAIC graduate and undergraduate classes. A librarian works directly with the instructor to structure the sessions in a way most appropriate for the course.

A typical session lasts 1.5 hours and includes an introduction to the Libraries and instruction in searching the Libraries’ catalog and other pertinent online resources. The librarian working with the class will also bring out items from the collection that relate to the focus of the class.

Examples of library instruction sessions include:

Library Orientation Session
  • Librarian-led instruction on locating relevant research materials, followed by a reading-room tour and review of up to 12 collection items
  • Stacks tours are available for SAIC graduate students
  • Instructor must request materials via the class visit form and make an appointment with a librarian to select materials at least 2 weeks prior to the class date.

Course-Related Research Session
  • Course Instructor-led review of up to 12 special collections items or 25 general collections items
  • Librarian will provide a brief review of library access policies and instructions for handling materials
  • Special collections materials may be restricted from student handling; specific openings should be selected and marked by course instructor during materials review appointment
  • Materials must be requested via the class visit form AND appointment for course instructor to review the materials must be scheduled at least 2 weeks prior to the class date.

Collection Highlights or Library Tour
  • Librarian-led review of up to 12 special collections items or 25 general collections items
  • No handling of collection materials is permitted
  • Librarian is responsible for session content, following an appointment with the instructor to discuss learning outcomes for the session

The Libraries also offer instruction sessions for classes not affiliated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on a case-by-case basis.

Class Visit Policies

  • All class visits must be requested through the class visit form.
  • Requests for class visits must be received by the end of the 4th week of the semester (Spring 2018 semester visit requests must be received by FEBRUARY 23).
  • Preference is given to classes with specific, collections-related assignments or classes that make repeat use of the library collections during the course of the semester.
  • Instructors requesting course-related research sessions must visit to review and mark materials at least 2 weeks prior to the class session.
  • Students must arrive on time for class, having completed all requirements for library access, such as checking coats and bags and signing into the reading room; please account for time needed for these tasks when requesting a class visit session.


Schedule a Session

Please fill out the form below to request an instruction session. If you have questions contact Autumn Mather at (312) 443-3665 or  Please allow at least 2 weeks between your request and proposed date of visit.

Contact Information
Institution Information
If a Non-SAIC program, please provide the institution name.
Course Information
Number of Library visits requested
Date of Visit
Only available Monday through Friday.
Only available weekdays 10:30 am through 4:00 pm.
Visit Information
What are your goals for this instructional session?
Is there an assignment the students will be working on? (If yes, provide details of assignment here)
(Special material requests, etc.)