Reference and Research Consultation Policies

Services | Virtual ServicesAvailability | Printing | Research Help vs. Study Strategies



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 electronically; 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.
  • A SERIES OF CONSULTATIONS: Research Consultation Services with a Librarian for the same assignment, paper, topic, or instructional purpose are available up to 3 sessions, or 3 hours total, per student.
  • EXTENSIVE SUPPORT: Research Consultation Services with a Librarian for a thesis, dissertation, capstone, or grant are available up to 5 sessions or 10 total hours of consultation a semester, per student.

You may sign up online for a consultation with a Librarian. If none of the available appointment times work for you, please email 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 in a specific service area which the Library staff are not professionally trained to support. 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 professional expertise of the Library staff.

Virtual Research Consultation Services

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:

Questions submitted virtually through email or through the Healey Library online form will receive a response before the end of the business day when submitted during the departmental business hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Questions submitted on weekdays after 4 p.m., weekends, and holidays will be answered the following business day. Immediate assistance is available anytime through the 24x7 chat service; you may also set up an appointment for a later time.

Availability and Appointment Times

  • To maximize your time with a Librarian, the Library asks that you please be on time for your appointment or notify the Librarians via or 617.287.5940 if you are going to be late.
  • 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 you are unable to meet with a librarian during the posted appointment times, please contact to arrange a mutually suitable appointment time. 
  • Reference Librarians may not be available to assist you immediately if you have not first set up an appointment. If your research question requires more support than a 10-minute review at the Reference Desk and no librarian is immediately available to assist you, you may 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. Questions submitted virtually through email or the online form during normal departmental business hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday will receive a response by the end of the business day. Questions received after 4:00 p.m., on weekends, and on holidays will be answered the following business day. Immediate assistance is available anytime through the 24x7 chat service; you may also set up an appointment for a later time.

Printing During Consultations

  • Throughout a research consultation, Librarians may assist you by printing up to 2-3 research articles or chapters at no cost to you, up to a limit of 50 pages per patron. This printing is free and does not require the use of a student's allotted printing money for the semester.
  • During an interaction at the Reference Desk, Library staff may offer to assist you with quick prints (limited to 1-5 pages per patron) 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, or during a research consultation, Library staff will assist patrons with downloading and emailing electronic copies of journal articles, e-book 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. 

Research Help vs. Study Strategies

  • Reference Librarians are available to assist you with searching, finding, and accessing high-quality research resources, as well as developing and managing an overall research strategy.
  • Additionally, Librarians can assist you with evaluating information for quality and authority, integrating citations appropriately into a paper or presentation, and formatting bibliographies correctly.
  • 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, to name a few). 

Healey Library

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125 US