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Research Help: What's a Research Consultation?

This page provides information about reference services at Southwest Minnesota State University Library.

One-on-One Research Help

Do you have a big research paper looming in your future? Is half of your grade determined by a presentation? A research consultation can help you find and use the sources that you'll need quickly and efficiently. 

Here's how it works:

Schedule a Research Consultation. (Click the button below!) We'll email to confirm your appointment. If none of the times available will work for you, please email maria.kingsbury@smsu.edu, and we will attempt to schedule an appointment that will work.

Come prepared. Search for sources on your own-- we'll also do some investigating!

Meet with us! Your meeting will take place in a librarians' office (you'll get the location in your confirmation and reminder emails), or on Zoom, and we'll be ready to talk about your research and ideas! We will compare our findings with yours, and you'll likely come away with some new sources or strategies that can help your research. 

Filling out the Consultation Form

Filling out the Research Consultation Form as thoughtfully as possible is important. The more you tell us on the form, the better we can plan! 

While each librarian has slightly different language on their form, you'll be asked to tell us about the following things: 

  • Your name;
  • The class you're doing research for and your professor's name
  • Your topic (What are you researching? Even if you're not quite sure yet, give us a few ideas you've had. We can help you pick something that will work!);
  • Types of materials (books, scholarly articles, trade publications, etc.) that you need help finding;
  • Where you've already searched for your topic (Doing a little bit of searching on your own ahead of time will help both us and you, even if you're not sure if you're searching in the "right" places.)
  • How you'd like to meet (We recommend face-to-face, if possible, but if it isn't, we can set up time to meet you on Zoom or by phone.);
  • Anything else we need to know (Here's where you can tell us about your assignment, ask specific questions, or whatever else you think would help us help you.)

Vital Statistics

>24: Hours in advance you need to book a consultation

30: Minutes your consultation lasts

4: Librarians available for consultations

15: Average number of consultation slots available each week