Skip to Main Content

FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Faculty Guide to Library Resources

An outline of library's services and resources for faculty: course reserves, off campus access to databases, e-journals, interlibrary loan, instruction, research assistance, and more

Ask a Librarian!

It's natural to have questions or need help while doing research. If you're feeling a little lost or need additional help, just ask! 

Librarians are available to meet individually with students, staff, and faculty to discuss research topics and projects. This can help you clarify your ideas and provide ways to approach your topic. It can also help you identify key terms, print and online resources, and search strategies to help get you started.

During your research appointment the librarian will:

  • Listen as you discuss your assignment, studio project, or research needs
  • Help you search for and locate information related to your topic
  • Bridge any gaps between your subject domain and the library domain
  • Offer ways to think critically about the information you encounter
  • Help you navigate the vast network of libraries and information institutions beyond RISD

Contact a Research & Instruction Librarian or email us with questions at

Research Assistance

Individual Research Assistance

We encourage you to refer students to a librarian for assistance with the research aspect of their assignment.

Working with the instructor or individual student, Librarians provide guided research assistance. Make an appointment either in person, by email or by phone. This meeting will help you clarify your ideas, provide ways to approach your topic, and identify key terms, print and online resources, and search strategies to help get you started and save time. A meeting with a librarian usually last 20-30 minutes depending on the topic. You are always welcome to make follow-up appointments.

What to Expect: Meeting with a RISD Librarian

The librarian will begin by asking some questions to get a sense of where you are in the research process and what approach you are taking to your topic. Bring a copy of the assignment to help the librarian understand the scope of your research and your time constraints. It’s useful to bring a writing draft, outline or concept map when you meet with a librarian. Often early documents and sketches contain the themes that are central to your topic and are a good way to begin the conversation.

Librarians will recommend databases to search and can show you strategies and features to efficiently use them. They facilitate in-depth searching for local resources as well as borrowing materials owned by other institutions. They can help you locate primary sources, bibliographies, images, websites, and digital collections. They answer any questions you may have about your library record. Librarians write letters of introduction to research centers when your inquiry points you further afield.

Special Collections & Archives

Individual Consultation Appointments
30-90 minutes

Working with the Instructor or individual Student, the Archivist or Librarian provides guided research access and individual consultations, into the Archives, Special Collections, or Artists’ Books materials.

•    Identifying materials useful for specific classes.
•    Identifying materials related to specific assignments or projects.
•    Identifying materials relevant to personal research.

Contact Claudia Covert, Special Collections Librarian

Contact Andrew Martinez, Archivist