Tag Archives: Ask A Librarian

Reference Services: What can we do for you?

librarian with glasses and books

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As we head into the last few weeks of the Fall semester, many CSUN students will undoubtedly be working on final assignments and papers. Those papers often require the use of outside resources, which may include newspaper and magazine articles, books, scholarly/academic journal articles, films, and interviews, among others.

If you’re trying to find research for your topic, but are coming up empty, don’t forget to ask for help! A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve been searching for a solid 30 minutes and are stuck, that’s a really good time to stop and reevaluate what you’re doing. A librarian can help you narrow your topic, guide you towards the best resources for your assignment, and show you where to find guides for your citations. You can get help in the following ways.

 The Reference Desk: Your best bet is to come to the Oviatt, if you can, and talk to a librarian in person at the Reference Desk. Just walk through the lobby and past the coffee cart, and you’re right there in the Reference Room. You’ll see a big wooden desk, and there will be 1 or 2 librarians sitting there, waiting for you and your research questions. It’s staffed most of the hours that the library is open. You can also call and talk to someone at the Reference Desk – (818) 677-2285

Make an appointment with a Librarian: Did you know that we have Librarians who work with specific majors and fields? You can make an appointment with your subject area Librarian for a lengthier consultation than you can get at the Reference Desk. Don’t know who your librarian is? Try this page: http://library.csun.edu/About/SubjectSpecialists. Because we’re not always sitting in our offices, you’ll probably have better luck setting up an appointment with us by email, rather than by phone.

girl on cell phone

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Text A Librarian: Store this number in your contacts, and the next time you have a quick question, just text it to us: (818) 900-2965.

Ask Us!: You can also access our LibAnswers FAQ. Just type in your question at the top of the page in the “Ask Us Anything” box. If it matches a question in our FAQ we’ll direct you to the answer. If it’s not in our FAQ, we’ll redirect you to a form where you can email us your question. We’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible. Often, during the week, we respond within an hour, if not 15 minutes.

Live Chat: We know that students often do their research at times when the Library is closed, and we are unable to answer any questions. But you can log into our QuestionPoint Live Chat service 24/7, 365 days a year. No webcams are needed – unlike FaceTime or Skype, this chat service is done strictly through the keyboard. You won’t usually be chatting with a CSUN librarian, but they will know you’re a CSUN student and which databases and resources you have access to.

Research Therapy: Check out our series of short videos explaining different aspects of the research process – it’s Research Therapy! Finally, you can see all your options for getting in touch with a Reference Librarian on our Ask A Librarian page.

Good luck with your final projects and papers! Hope to see you at the Reference Desk!

- Susanna Eng-Ziskin

Library Summer Hours and Finding Places To Eat on Campus

students studying in Library

With the summer season upon us we thought you might want to know the Library Hours Schedule for the next several months. Please check it out and plan to visit us and take in our cool and comfortable study and research space. We will be open many Saturdays throughout the summer and up until 7 p.m. on several weekdays. Librarians will be at the reference desk during most hours we are open to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to stop in for research support, to take advantage of our comfortable study lounges or to just say hello. If you are not able to stop in, you can always find help through LibAnswers, a resource that provides instant answers to common questions. Our Ask A Librarian service can also be useful for locating information for other specific questions.

Finally, you may find some of your regular campus eating places closed for the summer. However, there will be several coffee houses, restaurants and convenience stores open for those of us still on campus. Hours vary but are posted at the University Corporation campus dining and location information page.

-Coleen Martin