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Information and Research Services Policy

Policies for services provided by the Research Help desk.


The Instruction and Research Services (IR Services) department contributes to the mission of the Consortium Library. In addition to other services, we provide general research assistance to students, faculty, and staff at University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and Alaska Pacific University (APU), as well as to all Alaskans. 

Research Help services are part of the Consortium Library’s instruction mission. The librarians and Research Help staff involve patrons in the information-finding process as a means of teaching information literacy skills. Generally, we provide instruction on the use of a resource while the patron does the searching. Assistance is provided in person and via chat, text, phone, and email. Students, faculty, and staff may set up subject-specific research appointments with individual subject librarians. Faculty at UAA, APU, and Wayland Baptist may schedule library instruction for their courses.

This page details policies for the first floor general Information and Research Help desk managed by IR Services. Separate policies are available for Alaska Medical Library and Archives and Special Collections, other Library departments that provide specialized research assistance. For more information about each of the Library's three research service points, visit the Research Services page.

Scope of Services

General information and research help services are available to all. Questions from the UAA and APU communities take priority. 

The strategies utilized and the amount of time that can be devoted to a question are at the discretion of the librarian or staff person based on their experience and knowledge as they balance the needs of all patrons.

Librarians and Research Help desk staff can:

  • Provide guidance in formulating research strategies, finding information, and using resources
  • Help evaluate information and sources
  • Help brainstorm research topics to fit the scope of an assignment
  • Assist with and/or instruct in the use of related library services (e.g., borrowing materials, interlibrary loan, and course reserves)
  • Assist with general university and directional information
  • Offer basic technical assistance, including how to save, email, scan, and print documents
  • Refer patrons to other individuals, departments, or organizations who may be better able to assist

If unsure whether we can assist, feel free to Ask Us.

Librarians and Research Help desk staff cannot:

  • Interpret medical, legal, financial, or tax information, or give advice on such matters
  • Violate copyright laws or database license agreements
  • Proof read or edit student papers. (Students needing assistance with writing may contact UAA Writing Center, APU Writing Center, or Live Homework Help.)

We reserve the right to deny service to anyone who, in our judgment, makes an unreasonable or inappropriate request or displays disruptive or concerning behaviors.

Values and Conduct

Librarians and Research Help desk staff honor:

All library users and employees are expected to follow:

  • Consortium Library Code of Conduct policies, including the student codes of conduct for UAA and APU
  • Consortium Library Computer Use policy
  • All other Consortium Library policies
  • Standards of appropriate and equitable treatment of library employees in accordance with EEO/AA guidelines. (Both UAA and APU are EEO/AA employers.)
  • Requests from library faculty and staff regarding policies and/or behavior

Point of Contact

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to Page Brannon, Head of Instruction and Research Services, 907-786-1873,