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Hi and welcome to our Ask A Librarian service. So that we can direct you to the appropriate resources, please let us know if you are an Illinois undergrad, graduate student, faculty, staff, or community member, and how we can help you today.

Welcome (patron already asked question)
Hi, and welcome to our Ask A Librarian service. I’ll be happy to help with that. So that I can direct you to the appropriate resources, could you please let me know if you are an Illinois undergrad, graduate student, faculty, staff or community member?

Welcome (our service is closing soon)
**use this message during the last half hour as we work remotely during Fall 2020. Edit the time if needed.**
Welcome to our Ask a Librarian service! Please note that our service ends at 10pm, but we’re happy to help as much as we can before that time. If this is an in-depth question, please consider emailing our Info Desk at

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Thank you for using our Ask A Librarian service. Please chat with us again if you have other questions.

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Electronic Resources

Non-Affiliated Users

E-Resources are not available to students who are not currently enrolled at U of I.  The contracts signed by the Library on behalf of the University specifically limit the remote access to electronic resources to current members of the Urbana campus community. Information is available here:

Alternative Access

The University does provide a number of “alternative registration” options for students.  Here is a link to these: These options provide an alternative for students off-site to maintain their active status in campus ID systems, and, thus, to retain access to electronic resources needed to complete their academic work.

E-Resource Use Policy

Here is a link to the Library’s E-resource Use policy:


A list of hours for all of the libraries on campus is availble from the Library home page by clicking the orange “Libraries & Hours” tab:

Online Reference Collection

Databases by Subject and A to Z

Finding a Book in the Library Catalog

Here are instructions for finding books in the University of Illinois catalog:

A Specific Article

Here are instructions for tracking down a specific article:

A Specific Electronic Article

Here is a tool for finding a specific online journal:

Primary Source Materials in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Here is a guide on how to find primary sources:

Any Articles on a Particular Subject

Here is a guide that explains how to search for articles by subject:

Books not Available at the U of I

Here are instructions for finding books not available at U of I:

Articles not Available at U of I

Here are instructions for requesting a photocopy of an article not available at U of I:

Music, Videos, & Games

Here are instructions for finding DVDs and video games at Illinois libraries:

Peer Reviewed/Scholarly Articles

For assistance in locating peer reviewed or scholarly articles:


Here is a guide for finding images:


Here is a list of resources for finding dissertations:

Citing Sources

Here is a guide for citing sources:


Research Question – Subject Specialist Contact info

I can definitely help to get you started with that but before I go any further, I’m going to give you the contact information for your subject specialist librarian, [insert name here] as they will be a very important resource for you throughout your program: phone number – [add number]; email – [add email address].

Librarian Cataloging Questions

While I cannot provide call numbers for you, I can provide you with some free resources to help you with cataloging at

Referrals for help with writing (3 options)

You can book an appoint with the Writers Workshop at:


The Writers Workshop is a great next step for advice on integrating your sources. You can book an appoint with them at:


I suggest you contact the Writers Workshop as you continue working on your paper, for tips on developing structure and advice on building strong arguments and thesis statements. You can book an appoint with them at:


Chat Software Problems

If you are experiencing difficulty with the chat software, please call us at 333-2290 or 333-3477 and we will answer your question by phone.

How to Switch Between Windows

To switch between the chat window and other web pages, press the “alt” and “tab” buttons at the same time. If you resize your windows, you might be able to see the chat window and another window side by side.

Sending Link – Open New Window

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Terminating Chat

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