Answered By: Neal Smith
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2019     Views: 17

Reference librarians are available to assist with users’ information needs during library hours.

As part of an academic institution, the library’s primary role is to promote information literacy by directing users to authoritative sources of information and teaching them how to use those sources. The library staff will not complete homework assignments, but they will assist library users with locating and evaluating information for assignments.


A reference librarian can be contacted on campus by visiting the library, or by phone or email. Individual reference consultations are also available by appointment.


The library provides online reference services via LibAnswers.

Questions received via LibAnswers are usually answered within 24 hours, except on weekends and holidays or other times the library is closed. Librarians review messages at least once per day unless the library is closed. Offensive or harassing e-mails will be deleted without a response.

All reference sessions are kept confidential. The library staff follow the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. A count of interactions is maintained for use by library staff for improving service.

Reference Service Limitations

Service to Non-AHU Users – Reference services are intended primarily for faculty, students, and staff of AHU. Basic reference services are available to all who visit the library. The library staff will assist non-AHU users with questions about the library’s collection and services; however, the library staff retain the right to refer non-AHU users to other libraries and resources in the area.

Research for Faculty – Library staff can assist faculty with learning how to use library resources and assist with search strategies. Library staff are available for assisting with basic searches. At this time, the library is not staffed for completing research projects for faculty and staff. It is the responsibility of faculty and staff to complete their own research and homework. Library liaisons may offer more in-depth services to assigned faculty and staff at their discretion.

Class Assignments – Library staff and student workers help patrons locate information for class assignments. When a class assignment creates a concern, a librarian will contact the instructor about the present assignment and possible future assignments.

Legal, Medical, or Pharmaceutical Advice – The library staff cannot provide legal, medical, or pharmaceutical advice in response to reference questions. Library staff will direct users to sources on these topics from which users may draw their own conclusions.

Services for Persons with Disabilities

The library provides equal access to information to all who request it. For disabled persons, the library will make special provisions where feasible to permit the users to examine sources and conduct research. The library staff may request the assistance of the Center for Academic Achievement to assist a user.


For more information about the library's reference services, please see our Reference and Instruction Policies.

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