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Distance Services - Getting Assistance

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Request Forms        Ask the Library!        Databases A-Z

Sometimes you may want to ask someone a question. Other times you may prefer to see what you can find out for yourself. We have information on how you can do both of these things below.

Things you can do on your own

There are lots of different things you can do to get started on your own. For example you can read some of the web pages we have written for you such as Searching for Information and Requesting Items to help you figure out how to do different tasks.

You can also look at out Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers to common questions people ask about using the Library.

If you would like an overview of information sources and a tutorial about searching take a look at the Searchpath Online Tutorial. You can do the whole thing or individual modules. Searchpath has six modules:

If you would like more help with an individual database or with a topic such as “finding demographic information” or “the difference between scholarly journals and popular magazines,” try our online Handout Rack.

If you are ready to start searching but are not sure where to start, you can look at the database descriptions on the Databases A-Z page, look at the Subject Guide to Databases to see what databases might be some good choices or, for some subject areas (ex: Criminal Justice, Government, Politics, Statistics) look at our Research Guides pages for suggestions on good databases or websites to start with.

Getting Assistance from Library Staff

If you have general library or information searching questions there are three ways you can contact the Library’s Information Desk for assistance, all of which are listed on the Ask the Library! page.

You can:

  • Call us at 1-800-730-5279 anytime the Library is open.

  • Text us.

  • Send us an email or instant message from the Ask the Library! form. For complex questions we may call you or ask that you call and speak with us by phone.
You can also contact individual staff members. Contact information for all Library staff is on the website including a Who’s Who page describing everyone’s responsibilities.

Two people you may want to contact at some point are Sheri Sochrin, Reference & Distance Learning Librarian and Lynn Martin, Technical Services Specialist.

Sheri Sochrin is a Reference Librarian and the Library’s liaison to the School of Human Services. You can contact her for help with your research or with questions about Library services to the School of Human Services. You can reach her at (413)-748-3377, 1-800-730-5279 or

Lynn Martin is the one who processes all your requests for items. She can tell you about the status of your requests or can look into whether or not you can renew a book from another library. You can reach her at (413)-748-3559, 1-800-730-5279 or
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