Personal Librarians (PLs) are assigned to first-year incoming undergraduate students. PLs teach about the policies, resources, and services available through the library, and will assist in research needs.
Research Services Librarians (RSLs) manage the collections, assist in research, and teach how to use the resources. RSLs are assigned to specific academic departments, and thus can support more challenging research needs unique to each area of study.
Every first-year student is matched with a team of two Personal Librarians (PLs), who are dedicated to helping students succeed with research and class projects. For example, a PL can assist students in identifying the best resources and formulate search strategies, and connecting students with library experts in different subject areas. The PL will provide assistance any time of the year, even when the student is on break!
How can my Personal Librarian help me?
- Help you find your way around the library [Where is something? Who to talk to? Is this available?]
- Keep you informed with periodic email messages highlighting resources and programs for students
- Answer your questions about library policies, procedures, and services. [How do I renew? How do I pay a fine? How do I view my library record?]
- Assist you in working on research assignments so that you can conduct your own research and prepare research papers. [What databases to use? How to search for resources? How to narrow a topic? How to organize your content? How to cite accurately?]
- Provide referrals for information about who on campus to contact for other services, such as technology and computer help, writing advice, tutoring, and more.
- Provide assistance at any time of the year, even when you are on break!
Things we can offer referrals for but not directly do:
- Make photocopies. The library does have scanners you can use.
- Set-up computer accounts or software. We can guide you to UTech assistance.
- Do your research or write/edit your paper. We can help find sources and talk through the research process. We can refer you to people in the Writing Center.
- Replace advising roles of any other department on campus.
Research Services Librarians
Research Services Librarians (RSLs) are assigned to each academic department from the Case School of Engineering, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Weatherhead School of Management. Research centers or other offices on campus may have an assigned librarian. Each librarian has background and expertise in the departments they serve.
Examples of how librarians can assist, include:
- Finding a specific resource, item, or information
- Effectively using an item, resource, or service
- Narrowing down a topic
- Citing sources
- Organizing a research strategy
- Providing alternatives to a research process
Find the contact information for your Research Services Librarian or use the Research Guide created for your area of research.
Our current Personal Librarians:
- Walk-in assistance at the Kelvin Smith Library Service Desk
- Contact your Research Services Librarian for subject specialized consultation
- Contact a member of the Digital Learning & Scholarship Team for technology, data, and software
- First-year students can contact their Personal Librarian
- Schedule an appointment online
- Dial: (216) 368-3506
- Text Message: (216) 220-8261
- We respond in less than 2 business days; may be longer during University closings
- Live Chat: Click Ask KSL button on the Ask KSL page. If chat is not working, you may need to turn off pop-up blockers.
- Search the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and submit your question