The primary goal of the Binghamton University Libraries’ Research Assistance Services is to provide help to the University community in identifying and accessing an extensive range of print and electronic resources for teaching, learning and research.
Research Assistance staff aim to help users become self-sufficient in their use of information resources. Whenever possible, staff will help users to refine their inquiries, understand the range of available tools for answering questions, and select appropriate resources.
Services: We offer open and equitable access to information by providing both a physical and a virtual environment conducive to positive interaction. We develop collections and services appropriate to our community and in keeping with the ALA Library Bill of Rights.
Research assistance is primarily intended for the faculty, students, and staff of Binghamton University but non-campus members will be provided with assistance. Assistance is available on site, by telephone, and through the online Ask Us service. Users in need of more extensive assistance may be advised to visit the library or be referred to a subject librarian for additional research and reference assistance. While using our research assistance, users may be helped by subject librarians, professional staff, or well-trained student assistants.
In-person Assistance – Our personalized assistance is available to help you discover the rich collections in the Libraries, identify and use electronic and print reference tools, formulate research strategies, locate research material worldwide, and answer specific informational questions.
Telephone Assistance - Assistance given by telephone will generally be brief.
Ask Us – We provide assistance via email and through a variety of virtual reference services. Responses to email inquiries will usually be sent within twenty-four hours except on weekends and holidays. Assistance given through Ask Us will generally be brief.
Research Assistance Staff will
Code of Ethics - All interactions between library staff and patrons will be governed by the standards articulated in the ALA Code of Ethics which upholds principles of intellectual freedom, protecting each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality, and striving for excellence.
Legal, Medical, Business Advice - We cannot provide legal, medical, or business advice. Patrons will be referred to sources of information from which they may draw their own conclusions. We endorse the ALA Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses.
Assessment - Research Assistance staff periodically monitors the quality of services provided to see that they meet or exceed established service standards. We also provide opportunities for users to offer feedback and recommendations regarding these services and will respond to this feedback in an appropriate and timely manner. Users can provide feedback regarding the Libraries' Research Assistance Services using the Comments and Suggestions form.
These guidelines are based on the ALA Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers.