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Find Help

During selected hours, staff in Reference, Research, and Scholarly Services and the Undergraduate Library can answer your questions online through the Ask A Librarian service. This real-time reference service is great if you are working online in your dorm or apartment and need immediate assistance. If you prefer, email your question and an expert will get back to you within one business day. The Information Services Desk staff (217-333-2290) can also provide answers to quick reference questions and assist in the use of library resources such as I-Share Online and article databases via telephone. And finally, you can access our  Illinois Libraries Mobile site with your smartphone.

What if I would like a hands-on experience?

The Savvy Researcher

Most days during the fall and spring semesters, the Library's Savvy Researcher workshop series brings experts together with graduate students and faculty to explore various topics relevant to research and academic success. Usually 45-60 minutes long, the workshops provide an introduction to concepts and tools as well as helping make a contact with whom you could follow up for in-depth questions. All instructors will do their best to accommodate your unique research needs.

To view the current schedule, visit the  Savvy Researcher calendar. Registration is requested by clicking on the date you want to attend. Classes are limited to 20 attendees. (A wait list of 5 people will kept and they will be notified the day before if space becomes available.) All classes are held in the Main Library, Room 314, unless otherwise noted. You can bring your own laptop or use one of our desktop computers for use during hands-on activities.

Also watch for weekly reminders about the Savvy Researcher series in the  GradLinks e-mail and via Twitter from  @ScholCommons.

What if I want to drop-in?

Librarians' Office Hours 

The Undergraduate Library hosts  Librarian's Office Hours during the fall and spring semesters to help students with the research process: topic selection, learning to search the online catalog and article databases, locating library materials, compiling effective bibliographies, and much more. 

If you need help with the writing portion of the research paper the  Writers' Workshop, located in the  Undergraduate Library, can help.

What if I want to spend time with a librarian?

Personal research consultation

Librarians are also available to assist with the planning and execution of your research. If you are pursuing research in which the help of a subject specialist may be useful, please visit the relevant  departmental library for your subject area or check out our list of subject specialist librarians. All departmental library websites contain information about the nature of their collections as well as the names and email addresses of librarians who can help with your research.

The Library also has experts in the  Scholarly Commons that can provide assistance with data services, copyright, scholarly communication issues, digitization, digital humanities, and much more!  Use our form to request a consultation