K-12 group tours and class assignments or projects

Purpose: define access and restrictions to ASU Tempe campus libraries' facilities for tours and class assignments/projects for school-age (i.e., K-12) children not affiliated directly with Arizona State University.


The ASU Library's mission is to support the academic and research needs of Arizona State University's +50,000 students and 1,800 faculty. 

In order to maintain the appropriate research and study environment and to assure access for ASU affiliated clientele, access and service to K-12 age children, either individually or in groups, must be controlled.  Contributing factors include the following:

  • Resource limitations including collections, services, workstations and study space;
  • Collection content developed in support of advanced studies directly related to university programs and research;
  • Organization of collections and services around a self-service approach requiring users to have a certain level of information and computer literacy;  
  • Non-filtered Internet access, which is required by academic users;
  • Immensity of the facilities with limited on-site supervision and security.

While the main driver in limiting access to children is to give priority for the resources and environment to those directly affiliated with the university, there is another overriding factor.  The ASU Library, with its multiple large facilities and over 3 million volumes can be challenging, even intimidating, for users who have limited information-finding skills.  The ASU Library and its staff do not want to contribute to low success and high frustration of K-12 students lacking the necessary skills to understand and use the resources. (Class Assignments and Research Projects in the ASU Library)

Facility access and usage

All individuals coming into the ASU Library are expected to adhere to the ASU Library's

Anyone causing a disruption or observed in violation of these policies will be required to leave.

All children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult while in the facilities of the ASU Library on the Tempe campus. See Children: Library Facility Access and Use Policy.

Group visits and tours

While the ASU Library is unable to provide guided tours, presentations, workstation access or research assistance to unaffiliated groups, including K-12 classes, supervised groups are welcome to visit the facilities to take self-guided tours and to use the library resources as follows:

  • The library is not open for tours during the first and last 4 weeks (or finals week) of the Fall and Spring semesters. Besides mid-semester periods, other times open for tours are:  Intersessions, Summer Sessions, and Spring Break. (See ASU Academic Calendar)
  • No more than one group of 15 students accompanied by a minimum of two adult sponsors at one time in any library facility.   
  • Groups are to be kept together under adult supervision at all times. 
  • Individuals in the group abide by the ASU Library Code of Conduct and Computer Use Policies.
  • If students in the group are to use library resources while on tour, teachers have determined, in advance, topic availability and appropriateness and that the students have the prerequisite skills. (See "Class assignments and research projects in the ASU Library section below).
  • The adult in charge has submitted a request for a group visit and received confirmation of the reservation. (See "Scheduling a group visit" section below).  

Exception:  Adult sponsors who wish to only show larger groups of children what a research library looks like are invited to enter the lobby area of Hayden Library (only), in groups up to 25, as long as the group is under adult supervision and remains in the direct vicinity of the ASU Seal (in the floor) near the entrance.  Such groups are asked to respect the needs of ASU community by: minimizing interference; not blocking traffic; and keeping such visits short. Advanced scheduling of such a visit is not required.

Class assignments and research projects in the ASU Library

Since not all children under 15 may have an adult to accompany them or provide them with a check-out privileges via a Parent's Community Borrower's Card, it would generally be inappropriate to assign such children a research project or assignment to be completed, on their own (i.e., outside the scope of a class visit), within the ASU Library.

For older students, the following factors should be considered, in advance, to determine whether the identified learning goals (i.e., for a tour, assignment, or research project) will be served adequately by, and are compatible with, the resources of the ASU Library. Additional information, and links to specific resources, can be found on the page K-12 Library Assignments: Guide for Teachers.

Assignment Appropriateness:  Teachers should pre-test the assignment in the Library to:

  • Assure student success;
  • Identify potential stumbling blocks;
  • Position the teacher to orient the students regarding available resources as well as the physical layout of the facilities. 

Topic Availability:  Teachers need to determine whether ASU Library have appropriate resources on the topics.  

Prerequisite Skills:  To successfully find needed information in the ASU Library, students need the following prerequisite skills:

  • Previous library experience;
  • Know that materials are organized according to a classification system; understand the difference between the Dewey Decimal and the Library of Congress Classifications;
  • Know the difference between books and periodicals;
  • Know the difference between a library's catalog and reference tools such as indexes and abstracts;
  • Have used an online catalog to identify books by author, title, and subject;
  • Have used an online catalog to identify periodicals and related holdings;
  •  Have used an electronic index to identify articles

In order to make the best use of their time on campus, it is recommended that before K-12 students come to the ASU Library to pursue their assignments, they first should: 

  • Mine the resources of their local school and public libraries;
  • Conduct their literature search in advance using ASU Library One Search

There are a number of useful tools available through the library's web site that teachers and students can access in advance of their visit or in lieu of an onsite tour.  These include online tours; web-based research tutorials focusing on general research skills applicable in any library (but also explaining how to access specific tools through the ASU Library's web site); and guides to specific subjects

Scheduling a Group Visit

The adult sponsor of a group should submit a Request for Group Visit at least three weeks in advance.  Only one group at a time will be scheduled, so it is important to reserve early.   A confirmation of approval will be sent and should be brought on the tour.  The ASU Library reserves the right to deny:

  • Access to groups which fail to follow these scheduling procedures  
  • Access to groups sponsored by a specific educator/adult/school, who/which has repeatedly failed to follow the guidelines for group tours in the past.

Exception:  Groups only wishing to enter the lobby of Hayden Library do not need to submit a request to visit, although it would be appreciated.