Research Questions? New and improved answers!

First, thanks to the students who attended our “Research – How to Help” training sessions, and to those who wanted to attend but weren’t able.

Second, we have a few updates and some clarification:

  1. The Reference Hours page has been revised so that it’s easier to figure out where to direct research questions based on what day/time it is.  Please see
  2. There is an Outlook schedule for one of the reference offices (Lib 207).  Don’t mistake this for a reference schedule; this calendar just shows when librarians plan to sit in that particular office.  On weekday afternoons, there will always be a reference librarian on duty in one of the reference offices (Lib 206-211, Main Floor, South side).
  3. On weekday mornings, if someone has a research question that you can’t answer, please pick up the phone and dial x5496.  That will ring the phones of all of the librarians–at the Main Library, Music Library, and Armstrong–at the same time.  At least one librarian should be available and will answer the phone.  You can then direct the researcher to that librarian.
  4. At any hour, remember that the Research – How to Help page of the circ wiki offers lots of advice on how you can help researchers find what they need.

Thank you for continuing to help us connect students with our library materials.

Research – How to Help

The Reference Librarians have recently changed their model for providing research support. Faculty, students and staff using our libraries may turn to the Circ desks to ask questions – please read the Circ wiki page on Research – How to Help for some great tips on how to help and how/when to refer questions to a Librarian.

Reference Service is provided as follows:
AFTERNOONS: In the Main Library, Librarians have scheduled shifts in the reference offices (Main floor, South side).
* Sunday – Thursday 1-5 pm
* Friday 1-4 pm
Look for a sign outside an office to see who is on duty.
EVENINGS: In the Main Library, Librarians have scheduled shifts in Special Collections (lower level)
* Sunday – Wed. 7-10 pm

You can also contact a Librarian by:
Email: Send an email to Ask a Librarian
Text Messaging: Text a message to 66746 and start your question with the word midd (ex. midd how do I get to JSTOR?)
MUSIC LIBRARY (443-5785 or 443-5218)

Why is this so important?
The library has over a million books, journals, government documents, audio and video recordings, diaries, newsletters, annual reports, microfilm reels and microfiche sheets. We have online catalogs that show what we own, what our consortial partner libraries own, and what other libraries around the world own. We have databases for statistics, photographs, and newspapers. In short, we have a wealth of information.
Even though we try to publicize our resources through workshops, newsletters, web guides and the like, much of it remains invisible to our researchers. Therefore, as a library staff member who works at a public service point (eg, Circulation Desk or Help Desk), it is crucial that you help to connect researchers with resources or refer to a librarian when appropriate. The wiki page (link above) gives advice on how to do that.
Librarians want to help and have lots of research expertise (training and experience) – please don’t hesitate to refer students, faculty, staff and guests to them.
To help develop the documentation and plan for a training session, please comment on this post with a research or reference question that you have encountered at the Circ desk.

New Reference Service Hours

Message from Reference Librarians:
Please remember that librarians are here to help with research – don’t hesitate to refer our students, faculty, staff, and guest users to us for help.
-Weekday mornings, call x5496. Any librarian in his/her office will pick up.
-Sunday afternoons and Weekday afternoons, call x5496 and/or look for the “on duty” sign outside one of the ref offices (rooms 206-211)
-Sunday-Wednesday evenings, call x5496 and/or find us in Special Collections
-At all times, questions can be sent to us at go/askalibrarian
Continue reading