Reference and Research Consultation Policies
The Reference Desk and Research Consultation Services of Healey Library welcome all users who need guidance and instruction in the discovery and use of high-quality research resources. These services are designed to assist in a variety of scenarios, whether brief, extended, or multiple consultations; face-to-face or virtually; in real time or through email. Service options include:
- QUICK HELP: Basic research and instructional support within a limited time frame of 10 minutes is available on a drop-in basis at the Reference Desk on the 4th floor of Healey Library. The 10-minute time frame allows the Library to serve the greatest number of users throughout the day at a front-line service point, additional help is available through the Virtual Research Consultation Services.
- A SERIES OF CONSULTATIONS: Scheduled Research Consultations with a Librarian for the same assignment, paper, topic, or instructional purpose are available up to 2 sessions, or 2 hours per semester.
- EXTENSIVE SUPPORT: Extensive Research Consultation with a Librarian for a thesis, dissertation, capstone, or grant can be scheduled, totaling 4 hours of consultations a semester.
All services are staffing dependent and will be offered within the Reference Desk and Reference Department’s scheduled hours.
You may sign up online for a consultation with a Librarian, research consultations are only available by appointment. If none of the available appointment times work for you, please email email@example.com to arrange a mutually suitable meeting time.
Requests for services outside the scope of the Library, such as writing assistance and proofreading, tutoring, and study and time management techniques, will be referred to other departments or resources on campus with staff who are experts. The Library encourages all students to take advantage of campus services such as Tutoring Programs, the Reading, Writing, and Study Strategies Center, the Graduate Writing Center, or the Ross Center when seeking assistance that falls outside the information and knowledge management professional expertise of the Library staff.
Virtual Research Consultation Services are freely available to all users, both on and off campus, through the Healey Library Ask a Librarian service. Feel free to take advantage of whichever method best meets your needs and preferences:
- Searchable knowledgebase of FAQs
- Online form through which to submit your question if not found in the FAQs
- Direct email message to Reference Librarians through the departmental email address
- 24x7 chat reference service staffed by librarians across the country, around the clock, to provide an immediate point-of-need response from a trained information professional
Reference questions submitted virtually through email or through the Healey Library online form receive a response within 48 hours during scheduled hours: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holiday and school closures. Immediate assistance is available anytime through the 24x7 chat service; alternatively reference consultations may be scheduled for a later time.
- To maximize your time with a Librarian, the Library asks that you please be on time for your appointment. If you are going to be late, please contact the Librarian directly or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In rare instances, Librarians may be able to accommodate late arrivals with a full meeting time, but in most cases, they will need to end your appointment at the specified time, regardless of what time you arrive for your appointment.
- If your research question requires more support than a 10-minute review at the Reference Desk you will be directed to the Healey Library Ask a Librarian virtual reference channels, which are detailed in the Virtual Research Consultation Services section of this page.
- Reference questions submitted virtually through email or through the Healey Library online form will receive a response within 48 hours during scheduled hours: Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holiday and school closures. Immediate assistance is available anytime through the 24x7 chat service; alternatively reference consultations may be scheduled for a later time.
- During an interaction at the Reference Desk, Library staff may offer to assist you with quick prints (limited to 1-5 pages per visit) and reprinting to correct printer malfunctions. This is a free service and does not require the use of a student's allotted printing money for the semester.
- At the Reference Desk, Library staff will assist patrons with downloading and emailing electronic copies of journal articles, ebook chapters, and other research resources that students may then print using their allotted printing money for the semester. This service is free to all users with no limits except for those imposed by the publisher or vendor providing those resources.
- Patrons for whom printing costs pose a financial burden may be directed to U-ACCESS for additional support.
- Reference Librarians are available to assist you with searching, finding, and accessing high-quality research resources, and providing guidance in citing sources for papers, presentations, theses and dissertations, as well as developing and managing an overall research strategy.
- Requests for other services such as proofreading, writing, time management, etc. will be directed to the campus resources who are best equipped to assist (such as Tutoring Programs, the Reading, Writing, and Study Strategies Center, the Graduate Writing Center, the Ross Center, or the student’s instructor).