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International Reference Services

slavic_cataloging_manual_image_possibility_3International Reference @ Illinois is a bibliographic service for scholars and librarians. We provide research assistance for Social, Life, and Physical Sciences, and Arts and Humanities, for the regions and languages covered by the International and Area Studies Library.

We welcome students, independent scholars, faculty, government employees, and librarians to contact us for in-depth bibliographic inquiries, citation verification requests, and scheduling one-on-one instruction sessions with reference specialists. In addition to contacting International Reference, researchers can browse our collection of research guides, which contains information on print and electronic sources.  You can contact Joe Lenkart, IAS Library Reference Coordinator [Email: lenkart@illinois.edu] or contact International Reference at srscite@library.illinois.edu.  Phone: (217) 333-1349.  We are here to assist you.

In addition to the guides, the International and Area Studies Library and the Slavic Reference Service provide email assistance and chat reference.

New Service!

The International Reference Service is excited to offer online bibliographic training sessions via Blackboard Collaborate. These sessions are designed to provide our patrons with in-depth consultations on all subjects and regions affiliated with the International and Area Studies Library. This free service is open to students, independent scholars, teaching faculty, government employees, teachers, and librarians.
Fill out the form [ https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/9156069]with information about yourself and your research project. We will contact you to set up a specific date and time to go over research resources for your project. If you have any questions about the form, email us at srscite@library.illinois.edu

What We Do

  • Answer bibliographic and reference queries.  If you are in need of a specific piece of information, we will be glad to try to answer your query.  We will use print and online resources in our searches.  We also assist patrons with their questions on the use of fonts and keyboards for languages in the service areas.
  • Identify materials in our collection. Identify libraries that hold materials you need.  We will search to find libraries in the U.S, Europe Union, and libraries from the service areas that can lend or copy the title you need if it is not in our collection.
  • Verify and correct citations. Oftentimes, titles are not fully or correctly cited in the existing bibliographic literature.  Our staff are trained to search for the correct form of the citation, ensuring that you get the material you need.
  • Suggest reference materials you might find relevant for your research.   Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for the completeness or accuracy of online information.

What We Don’t Do 

  • Compile exhaustive bibliographies on a particular topic.
  • Translate substantial sections of text in the languages of our area of coverage.  We can assist with locating a dictionary entry for a particular word.
  • Charge a fee.  International Reference is a federally funded agency.  There is no charge for our reference services.   However, we are not a document delivery service.  Should you need a copy of some material from our collection you will be directed to our Interlibrary Loan Department [See: http://www.library.illinois.edu/irrc/]
  • Obtain certain kinds of materials, specifically archival materials and full text of dissertations.
  • Recommend particular books on a topic.  We are all reference librarians with subject expertise in a variety of areas.  None of us are experts in all areas.  Our expertise lies in our familiarity with bibliographic materials. Therefore, we are not qualified to suggest a specific monograph or article in a subject area over some other work.
  • Supply detailed genealogical information.  Our library is not equipped to handle detailed genealogical requests.

What We Need 

  • Details.  The more specific your explanation of what you are looking for, the better we are able to serve you.
  • Deadlines.  All requests are handled on a first come, first served basis, although requests that have a firm upcoming deadline can usually be worked in.  If you must have an answer by a certain date, please indicate that in your request.
  • Languages. In order for us to locate information that will be useful we must know if there are materials that would not be helpful because of language constraints you might have.
  • Affiliation.  While we welcome queries from everyone, if your question will require the use of interlibrary loan, it is important for us to know if you are not affiliated with an academic institution. We may need to make arrangements with your public library to supply you with the material you need for your research.
  • Background.  In order to make the search as efficient as possible it is important that we not duplicate the work you have already done.  That is why we ask that you be as specific as possible in listing the sources you may have already consulted.
  • Sources of citation.  All users are asked to supply the original source in which they found the citation to the material they are seeking.  This saves us a great deal of time in locating and/or ordering material.