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CL ST 273: Greek and Roman Mythology

This course guide is intended to support students taking CL ST 273 at Iowa State University. The focus of the guide is on resources available through the University Library and support for select assignments.

What to expect from working with a librarian

If you've never met with a research librarian or had a research consultation before, here's a quick guide to what you can expect.


Research consultations are typically one-on-one meetings with a librarian, but may involve small groups. You are welcome to bring others who you are working on your research with, such as other members of a group project or lab group. Depending on your topic, you may also end up meeting with more than one librarian, or you may want to schedule separate meetings with multiple librarians.

Where & when?

Some librarians offer online meetings, while others offer face-to-face meetings in the library. Always make sure to clarify where, when, and how you are meeting.


Every research consultation is different. In general, however, there are a few things you can expect of any consultation:

  • The librarian will make suggestions based on your unique situation
  • A consultation typically lasts between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the research question
  • The meeting will be a learning experience, not just the librarian using search tools for you
  • Complex questions or projects that need a comprehensive set of sources may require more than one meeting

Sharing specific information about what you need (and when) before your meeting will help the librarian make useful recommendations more quickly. Refer to the Make the most of your visit page of this guide for ideas on what information is useful to share with the librarian before your meeting.

Ways to get in touch

Once you've decided to work with a librarian, the next step is to get in touch. A common misconception is that librarians are extremely busy and asking them questions is somehow bothering them or wasting their time. While it's true librarians are as busy as anyone else these days, and may not be in their office if you drop by unexpectedly, be aware that by reaching out or asking a question you are making a librarian's day.

decorative imageEmail

You can always start by sending an email to the librarian you want to work with! This is a great way to start when you aren't sure if you really need a lengthy consultation to get an answer to your question, if you don't have time for a meeting, if you're not on campus, or even if you just don't love face-to-face meetings. Just make sure you include enough information to help the librarian help you!

decorative imageMake an appointment

Many librarians use an automated appointment scheduler. This tool lets you pick a date and time, and then add your meeting directly onto their calendar--no awkward emails required! You can find each librarian's appointment scheduler link on the Find Your Librarian page. If the librarian doesn't use an appointment scheduler, the link will point you to their email address. (You can also find this link on many research and course guides, and in some other places.)

When you click the Make an Appointment link for a librarian, you'll be taken to the appointment scheduler. From here you'll be able to select the date you want to meet and choose from any available times on that date.

Click "continue" and fill out the form that appears. Each librarian can customize this form, so it will look different depending on who you are scheduling an appointment with. At minimum, you'll be asked to provide your name and email address, plus an optional description of the purpose for the meeting. This is where you would briefly describe your project or question.

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Becca Yowler