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Concise Neurodiverse User's Guide to the Library: Interacting with a librarian

Looking for a more detailed version?

A note on Library Anxiety

If you feel anxious about using the library or talking to a librarian, you're not alone. But...

  • Shy? Awkward? We understand and we don't mind.
  • Completely new at this and feeling dumb? We started at the same place. This stuff is complicated and counterintuitive to start with. You will be fluent very soon. 
  • Embarrassed about your question? We've heard it all, and also we're completely confidential.
  • Overloaded? Tell us you don't know what to do next and we can help you figure it out. 
  • Don't know what question to ask? Tell us that and we can talk you through it.
  • Worried that you might find out your problem is worse than you thought? Come to us as soon as you think of it. We will start where you are and get you to where you need to be.
  • Trouble speaking, reading, or writing? We have multiple options.

Modes of interacting with a librarian for a reference question

Options for working with us:

  • Email - good for questions the librarian will have to do some research to answer. Bad for speed. If your initial question doesn't have enough detail, the librarian will have to ask for more before they can answer.
  • Chat - good for any kind of question. Bad if you have trouble reading/writing. Answered right away 24/7.
  • Phone - good if you have trouble reading or writing. Bad if you have trouble speaking or hearing. Also bad if we might want to share links. 

Access any reference contact options at Ask A Librarian.

Tips for starting a reference question

What to have ready

  • Your device, with internet
  • A way of taking notes
  • Your project
  • Your course/learning contract 
  • A browser window open to the library (

The @Home Library Workshops

@Home Library Workshops

  • webinars
  • weekday evenings
  • active participation required
  • solo alternative that you take on your own time are available

Access the @Home Library Workshops here