Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions: Getting Help

Answers to common questions about the library and doing research.

Where do I go for help in the library?

For help with using the library computers and finding library materials for your assignments, come to the Ask a Librarian Desk on the first floor of the west wing.

During scheduled hours, librarians are at the desk to help you learn about the library. Shorter questions can be answered over the phone (414-229-4659) or via e-mail through Ask a Librarian. For help with checking out or returning books, or questions about fines, contact the Circulation Desk in person or send an e-mail to Special areas such as the Music Library or Current Periodicals can help you with materials in that specific area. See the Libraries and Departments page for a list of divisions within the library.

How do I get help with research?

  • Subject Pages
    The Databases by Subject page contains several dozen subject categories (e.g. Business & Economics, Language, Literature & Communication, etc.). Click on a subject category to view a list of recommended resources, including print indexes, online databases, and selected web sites.
  • Ask a Librarian Desk
    The Ask a Librarian Desk is staffed by librarians and graduate assistants [hours]. Desk hours change when classes are not in session. The desk is located on the first floor, west wing. Librarians can suggest strategies & methodologies for your question or topic - saving you time; teach you how to use the online catalog & electronic databases; help you connect to sources on the Internet; suggest appropriate resources & collections; refer you to other libraries, individuals, or associations. For brief, factual questions, you may phone us at (414) 229-4659 during scheduled hours.
  • Ask a Librarian
    Librarians and graduate assistants will attempt to answer up to three, brief factual questions submitted within each e-mail. This service is for students, faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If you are not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, we can reply to a question only if it concerns UWM or some resource unique to the UWM Libraries. Ask a Librarian also includes a live chat service.
  • Walk-in Workshops
    We offer a variety of walk-in sessions. These sessions are open to students, staff, faculty, and community users. The workshops last approximately 60 minutes. Workshops include hands-on training. Topics include Search@UW, how to find journal articles, and how to do research using the Internet. Occasionally, there are subject-specific workshops addressing topics such as how to find resources for medicine, nursing & allied health, or how to find company information.
  • Research Consultation
    Research Consultation is an individualized reference service for students, staff and faculty of UWM who are working on a thesis, dissertation, or new line of research or instruction and need more in-depth help with library resources.

What does this library term mean?

See the Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science for a definition, or ask a librarian.