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How can my LIS program get access to Guide to Reference?

The American Library Association is pleased to provide free, ongoing access to LIS faculty and students for their teaching and coursework.*

You and your students can access Guide to Reference in several different ways. Please contact us at if you have questions about the access that's best for you.

ALA can create an institutional trial account for you and your students. You will be able to access Guide to Reference on campus through any computer that's authenticated into Guide to Reference through the institutional account. If you use a proxy server to provide access to remote students, ALA will set up your account to work with your proxy server. Alternatively, if you do not offer remote access, your students can create a User Profile at an authenticated computer on campus and then log into Guide to Reference off-site with their User Profile.

ALA encourages everyone to create User Profiles because they let you use the interactive features in Guide to Reference like creating/saving notes and lists, as well as saving searches.

You and your students can create individual trial accounts for yourselves—you will be able to access Guide to Reference from any location. This is another way for remote students to access Guide to Reference. These individual trial accounts let you use the interactive features like creating/saving notes and lists, as well as saving searches.
If you use course management software—like Blackboard—for your LIS classes, consider making Guide to Reference one of the resources your students can access. ALA will be happy to work with you to set up access.

ALA will renew your trial accounts for as long as you need them for your teaching and classes, and for as long as your students need access. Contact us at and we'll be happy to renew your accounts.


Tools for integrating Guide to Reference into your LIS instruction:

Tip Sheet (PDF)
Webinar Slides (PPT)


Here's what others are saying about Guide to Reference:

We'd like to hear how you're using Guide to Reference in your LIS program. Please drop us a line at Here's what others are saying about using Guide to Reference in LIS programs:

"Access for our students is now just a click away from anywhere! . . . I am pleased to showcase the Guide to Reference and demonstrate its use in identifying sources for reference question assignments and collection development. . . . This new edition has much more to offer 21st-century LIS students and future professional librarians than its predecessors. . . . A monument has been renovated, and we all benefit!"

Linda Watkins
GSLIS Librarian
Simmons College

"Guide to Reference is easy to navigate and the ability to browse categories and search keywords and classification demonstrates an informed design process meant to assist LIS students learning new resources, reference librarians searching for answers, and librarians developing a collection. Essential for large public and academic libraries as well as libraries supporting LIS programs."

Stephen Fadel
University of Maine
(Booklist Starred Review)

* You'll need a subscription to access Guide to Reference content unless you're using it for instruction and coursework within an LIS program. To request subscription prices, please email Our customer service representative will contact you soon.