Reference policies

Reference services are provided primarily for University of Arizona students, faculty, and staff; and for anyone who is connecting to the service from a computer on the University of Arizona campus. Other users are welcome to use these services for questions dealing specifically with information about the University of Arizona, as well as about the library and its collections.

General research questions are best addressed to your local public library. If you are in Pima County, call (520)791-4010 to be connected with the Pima County Public Library’s Infoline.

What kind of help is available?

Email, chat, and phone reference services are designed to handle questions typically asked at our Ask Us desk, such as questions about finding information on a particular topic, journal citations, phone numbers, and definitions. We will provide up to three book titles or article citations about a topic and tell you how to find similar resources.

Chat and phone services depend heavily on online resources; when we are on the phone or chat, we are unable to consult print materials in other parts of the library’s collections.

Questions requiring in-depth knowledge of a subject or resource may be referred to an appropriate subject specialist, who will contact you directly. A referral may cause a slight delay in the response time.

Response time for email reference queries is 48 hours, when the Main Library is open. Most questions will receive a response within 24 hours.

Help we cannot provide

Though most requests submitted through these services can be accommodated, there are a few things that cannot:

  • Verification of incomplete citations that require searching through paper copies of books or journals.

  • Requests for legal, medical, financial or tax advice.

  • Requests for genealogy or family history research.