Ways to Get Help

This tutorial explains how to get help from librarians and library resources.

Getting Help from Librarians

Many libraries on campus have reference desks that are staffed during open hours. Stop by the reference desk to talk to a library staff member in person.

  1. To find library location hours, start at the UW-Madison Libraries homepage.
  2.  Select the “Locations” link from the upper navigation bar at the top of the homepage.
  3. Find the library you want to visit in the list to see their opening & closing hours.

To view the other ways to get help, select the “Ask” link at the top right of the homepage. The Ask a Librarian panel will appear and you will be able to view the other ways to get help.

  • You can email the libraries with a question, and usually receive a response within 24 hours. Click the “Email” link from the panel list.
  • You can call (608-262-3193) or text (608-729-7886) a librarian at a reference desk. Select the “Call/Text” link from the panel to see direct phone numbers for specific campus libraries.
  • You can make an appointment to meet with someone virtually. Select the “Virtual Consultation” link from the panel list.
  • You can send a chat message to a librarian. Select the blue “Chat with a Librarian” button at the top of the panel to open a chat window. You will need to type in your question and press “Enter” before the librarian receives the message. You can also select the “Chat with a Specific Library” link if you want to chat with a specific library. To view hours for Chat Services.
  • You can visit a library to speak with someone in person. Click Visit to display the library locations list with their opening & closing hours.

Research Guides

Research guides are collections of resources put together by librarians. They are organized by subject area and can be excellent places to start when you begin researching a topic.

There are two types of research guides:

  • Course guides are created for a specific course and customized for the course topic and assignments. The course name and number are in the course guide title.
  • Subject guides are guides on a subject, topic, or type of resource.

To access research guides:

  1. Starting at the UW-Madison Libraries homepage, select the “Find” link in the upper navigation bar.
  2. Select “Research Guides” from the list “Resources by Type” on the right hand side of the page.
  3. Search or select the type of research guide:
    1. Select “Course Guides” to view guides separated into course titles. Select “Subject Guides” to view guides separated into subject areas. If you select a subject you will find all of the related guides.
    2. Use the “Search All Research Guides” bar at the bottom of the research guides on the right side of the page to search for a guide by name, course name, topic or theme.