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Life Hacks for Using the ISU Library

For new and experienced library users: learn how to get the most out of a visit to your library, including tips for finding the right librarian and ways to get in touch.

ISU Library Life Hacks

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This guide is meant to help students and other researchers become more familiar with the ways librarians can make research easier and more efficient. If you're not quite sure how a librarian can help you, or you don't know which librarian is the right person to contact, then you're in the right place!

The other pages in this guide will help you identify the right librarian to help with your question, explore the different options for getting in touch, and share tips for getting the most out of a research consultation.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Have a question? Librarians are always available to help!
Read the guide to learn who to contact and how!

Decorative icons used on this guide are from icons8.