Get to Know Your Libraries

The right librarian at the right time

Did you know that librarians specialize in different topics? This allows them to develop deep expertise in the resources and tools of their assigned disciplines in order to provide knowledgeable assistance to students.

Curious about who is the librarian for your major or research area of interest? Refer to the Subject Librarians list on the library's website.

Keep in mind library staff also can help you with:

What is a research consultation?

A research consultation is a meeting with a librarian, scheduled in advance at your convenience, to get help with your research. Librarians can consult with individuals one-on-one or with small groups.  [Note: Zoom and phone are used during the COVID-19 pandemic].  This service is available to all UNM students, and meeting with a librarian early in your research process can help you save time and get a better grade. Guidance from expert librarians ensures you are asking the right questions, searching the right resources, and employing the right search strategies to navigate your research process with confidence.

Research consultations are highly tailored to meet your unique needs. Different types of research consultations include:

  • Refining your research topic two seated figures each w outstretched arm
  • Developing your search strategy
  • Identifying relevant databases and journals
  • Finding and evaluating information resources
  • Searching the web for trustworthy information
  • Discovering alternative search terms for your topic
  • Demonstrating advanced search techniques for specific databases
  • Narrowing your search results
  • Tracking down a hard-to-find resource
  • Locating datasets for analysis
  • Using citation styles and tools correctly
  • Learning how to conduct a literature review when writing a publishable article
  • Planning and organizing a large project, such as a capstone, senior thesis, or doctoral dissertation
  • Selecting a journal or other publication venue to pitch an article
  • Managing your scholarly reputation over time
  • Discussing copyright or intellectual property issues

What to Expect at Your Consultation

Please note: During the Covid-19 emergency, consultations are restricted to phone or virtual meeting only. If you require special accommodations, please let us know when you schedule your appointment. 


BEFORE

You can request a consultation by making an appointment online or sending an email to a librarian directly. We recommend requesting an appointment at least a few business days in advance to allow time for the librarian to prepare. The more prepared the librarian is, the more useful the consultation will be for you. So plan ahead!

When scheduling the appointment, the librarian will let you know where you can plan to meet in the library. The librarian may also set up and share with you technical details for how to join a virtual meeting, if that is your preference. Librarians typically use a tool called Zoom for remote consultations.

If you are unable to keep an appointment, please contact the librarian immediately, so that another student can be given your appointment time if needed.

The librarian will ask you to provide as much detail as possible about your assignment and topic. Sometimes it is helpful to share the text of the assignment you received from your professor so that the librarian knows all of the requirements you need to fulfill with your research. At a minimum, tell the librarian your deadline and provide some idea of the scope/length of your paper or project.

Share with the librarian where you have already looked for information, so that the librarian can prepare to help you find new-to-you resources.

DURING

Consultations typically last between 15 minutes and one hour. Librarians will usually schedule a full hour for your appointment, but the consultation may end early depending on your needs.

The consultation takes place in a relatively quiet, private space, generally in a library office or meeting room with a computer. However, a librarian will often advise you to bring your own laptop if you have one so you can get hands-on practice.

Although a librarian may provide you with a couple of sample articles or other resources, the librarian DOES NOT perform your research for you. The point of the consultation is to talk over your research strategy with the librarian and get advice on how to overcome any challenges you may have encountered.

You may have a surprisingly good time. Librarians are fun people.

AFTER

You are encouraged to reach out to the librarian again with any follow-up questions you have as you continue your work.

If you have a larger, more complex project, you may choose to schedule more than one consultation appointment.

You will have learned how to conduct library research more effectively.

You may secretly pat yourself on the back for taking advantage of a valuable service.

Visit the Service Desk

You can request research help in person by visiting any library service desk. Find service desks at the following locations:

  • Zimmerman Library: First floor Learning Commons
  • Centennial Science & Engineering Library: Lower Level 1 entrance
  • Fine Arts & Design Library: Fourth floor of George Pearl Hall

Keep in mind that for more complex research questions, you may still be referred to a subject specialist librarian for a consultation.

Other Ways to Speak with a Librarian

Call: (505) 277-9100

Text: (505) 431-4711

Email us via online form

Or reach out using library chat when staffed during business hours.

Research Guides

Subject specialists have created research guides for many topic areas as well as specific courses. Although not always comprehensive, librarians have curated these guides to connect you with the "best bets" to get started on your research. To find guides relevant to your research:

  • Start at library.unm.edu
  • Click on Research Guides tab
  • Search by subject or course