Ways to Get Help

Librarians are always available to answer questions and help you with your research.

Getting Help from Librarians

  • Most of the libraries on campus have reference desks that are staffed during open hours. Stop by the reference desk to talk to a librarian in person. You can see when each library is open by navigating to the UW-Madison Libraries homepage and clicking on the “Locations” link from the upper navigation bar at the top of the homepage. You can also select the “Visit” link from the list that appears when you select “Ask” from the homepage navigation at the top of the page.
  • You can also view the other ways to get help in the Ask a Librarian panel that appears when selecting the “Ask” link at the top right of the homepage. From this panel, you have several options:
    • 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 (608-263-3193) 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 in person. Select the “Appointment” link from the panel list.
    • You can send a chat message to a librarian anytime from 8:00am until 11:00pm. 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.

Research Guides

  • Research guides are collections of resources put together by librarians. They are organized by subject area.
  • Research guides can be excellent places to start when you begin learning about or 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.
    • Subject guides are guides on a subject, topic, or type of resource.
  • To access research guides:
    • On the UW-Madison Libraries homepage, select the “Find” link in the upper navigation bar.
    • Select “Research Guides” from the list “Resources by Type” on the right hand side of the page.
  • You can select “Subject Guides” to view guides separated into subject areas. If you select a subject you will find all of the related guide. You can select “Course Guides” to view guides separated into course titles. You can use the “Search All Research Guides” bar at the bottom of the research guides page to search for a guide by name, course name, topic or theme.