Information Services & Instruction

Title: Information Services & Instruction
Category: Public
Source: Information Services & Instruction
Date: 2014-05-01


Helping students and other library users find the right book, article, or Web site for research and creative projects is at the heart of public services. As an academic library, our primary role is to promote information literacy by directing our clients to authoritative sources of information and teaching them how to use those sources. Research consultations (and classroom instruction in partnership with the faculty) also further proficiency with information literacy. Information literacy means being able to recognize an information need, develop a strategy to locate, evaluate, and synthesize information, and cite sources of information accurately.

Your questions may be answered by an information assistant and/or a reference librarian.

  • Information Assistants
    Information assistants who staff the Service Desk are prepared to answer questions and get people started on their search for information, such as demonstrating IUCAT online library catalog, Document Delivery Services and accessing databases such as Academic Search Premier.
  • Information Services and Instruction Librarians
    For more complex research questions, library staff may recommend meeting with a reference librarian in a research consultation which usually lasts 30 minutes. Librarians provide research consultation with individuals or small groups on a walk-in or appointment basis. Faculty and instructors may also schedule a library visit for a class or classroom instruction session with librarians.

A library staff member is always available to help, via IM, telephone, e-mail or in-person during library service hours. Research consultations with librarians are available many hours per week, including days, evenings and weekends. Make an appointment, IM or call or e-mail with questions.

The Ask-A-Librarian IM and e-mail reference service is available to students and others, on- or off-campus, who have brief information requests. Each question that comes to the library electronically receives a timely, consistent, high quality response, usually within 24 hours, although response time depends on when a question is received. Staff checks the e-mail service several times during the library's work day. Vulgar, offensive, or harassing e-mails will be deleted without a response.

Online reference services at Helmke Library are provided for the IPFW community and will often refer users to electronic resources requiring IPFW authentication (user name and password). These electronic resources are available from public computer stations in the library.

Personally identifiable information about library users is kept strictly confidential except in limited circumstances outlined in the  American Library Association's Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users.  For more information, see the Library policy on Privacy.