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Library Guides

Who's Your Librarian?: Research Consultations

Personal Librarians @ Drew

What is a Research Consultation?

A research consultation is a chance to meet one-on-one with a librarian, who will help you:

  • Refine your topic, if necessary

  • Identify productive places to look for information

  • Find useful resources.

  • Save you time and effort.

Contact a librarian and set up a time to come in!

When you contact the librarian, describe your project

  • the topic/project (and maybe the course)–But if you don’t have a topic for your paper yet, that’s okay too. Librarians often help people think through possibilities and help decide whether there’s enough material for a project.

  • the parameters or length—There are no requirements. It could be a small five pager, an honors or master’s’ thesis,  a Ph.D. dissertation, or your next article or book.

  • the deadline—We’re usually very flexible, but don’t wait to the last minute. You may need a few days or even weeks to obtain some materials through Interlibrary Loan. (Librarians also have limited after-hours availability!)
  • any particular problems or challenges—For instance, you’ve searched a lot but you haven’t been able to locate any good sources on your own, or you’re doing a paper on Russian elections, but you can’t read Russian.

Every research consultation is a bit different because it’s tailored to your needs.  

  • Generally lasts for about an hour,  depending on your topic and your needs.
  • Some people have a series of research consultations.
  • You and the librarian search the catalog, specialized subject databases, and other print and online resources depending on your particular needs, such as digital collections, image repositories, other library catalogs, statistical resources, etc.
  • While you search, you and the librarian will talk and evaluate the results of the searches and design new strategies and approaches together.

By the end of the consultation, you will have:

  • Discovered (and collected/emailed/downloaded) lots of material and made requests for material that was not available at Drew
  • Learned more about how to effectively navigate the library
  • Learned a whole lot more about effective searching

Are research consultations only for research projects? Nope! They can be for help with Endnote or other citation managers, or formatting the citations themselves, or using other research software, copyright issues, or other information topics.

Get Help

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Phone 973-408-3588; email

Questions? Need Help? Email

Drew University Library,