Reference Services

Reference Services

Reference Desk:  ext. 2608       Email:

The Reference Room is located to the right of the Main Lobby. The librarian at the Reference Desk will be happy to help you with questions about research and finding materials. Please enquire at the Reference Desk or in the Reference Office.

Reference materials may be used in the Reference Room, and include:

  • Print sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, yearbooks, almanacs, periodical and newspaper indexes, book review indexes, bibliographies, business information, statistical information, and biographical information on many subjects.
  • Electronic resources on a wide variety of subjects. While most of these resources are available on and off campus to Bishop’s University students and faculty through links on our Periodical Indexes and Databases page, some are accessible only on campus. Off campus access is limited to Bishop’s University students, faculty and staff. To connect to a Periodical Index or Database from off campus, you will need the barcode number located on your student ID card or your faculty/staff card. Internet access is available through the Library for research purposes.

Library Instruction and Orientation

Library instruction and orientation sessions are given throughout the year to acquaint students and faculty with the Library’s resources and services. The Reference staff can arrange seminars in specific subject areas as well.

If you wish to arrange a session for your class, please contact the Reference staff at ext. 2608 or, or visit the Reference Office in the Library. Sessions are limited to a maximum of 35 students. If classes are larger, the group will be divided. It is important that you schedule the session at least one week in advance to ensure that there will be enough staff and seminar room space available, and to allow the Reference staff to prepare the session.

Library instruction is most successful when given in conjunction with an assignment, in order to give students a chance to practice their library skills as well as familiarize themselves with the Library’s resources.

Subject Guides and Bibliographies

The Reference Librarians issue a number of Student Guides which provide information on reference sources in specialized subject areas, as well as research and citation style guides. These guides are available through the Library website.

Library Tours

Library group tours are offered during the first three weeks of term in September and January. Tours for individuals and smaller groups are available throughout the year by appointment. They are intended for new students and for anyone who wishes to become more familiar with the Library and its resources. Included in these sessions are a walking tour of the Library, a demonstration of BORIS (the Library’s online catalogue), and a brief introduction to some of the Library’s reference resources. They generally take 30-45 minutes and begin in the Lobby.