Category Archives: research assistance

Welcome back!

Welcome to all of our new and returning students, staff and faculty.

The library is offering a series of workshops about library services and resources for all interested students in 2017.  Please see our website for more details and to register:

There is help available at the Wesbter and Vanier reference desks and on ask-a-librarian live chat:

Please note, Webster’s LB4 is now closed and is set to reopen in Fall 2017.  The books from LB4 are being sent to offsite storage, from which faculty, staff and students can request their retrieval, starting Jan 12, 2017.  For more details about the LB4 book move and storage, please consult our website:

A reminder that details about all library renovations are available on the Webster Library Transformation blog: 

We hope you have a great winter semester!

“Chat with a librarian” — popular option

You wrote:

I love the chat-option with librarians- it’s a quick, convenient way to get assistance, and it has been really helpful. However- there needs to be more than one librarian on it at a time. There have been times when I’ve been told they are ‘with a student and will be right back’, leaving me to wonder where are all the other librarians? Must this system shut down because one librarian is occupied with a student? A bit silly, don’t you think? Particularly if this is a used service, shouldn’t more be placed on the chatting option to accommodate the demand?

Thank you for your suggestion. It’s great to hear that our “chat with a librarian” service is well received.

We are aware that sometimes users have to wait to be served on chat …. and sometimes they have to wait in line to be served at the reference desk in the library …. or at almost every other kind of service point in their everyday lives. Although it would be nice to provide instantaneous service, everywhere, at all times, it simply cannot be. The benefit of chat is that at least the user is comfortably sitting somewhere and can continue to do their work while waiting.

Chat is only one way that students may communicate with a librarian: we also provide help by email, by telephone and, yes,  in person! 🙂 All of our Ask-a-Librarian services are well-used and although the popularity of the chat service has been increasing steadily over the years, it only counts for about 5% of the total number of questions we get.

As for “where are all the other librarians”?  In addition to helping students at the reference desk or on chat reference, reference librarians are often teaching, providing in-depth assistance to students and professors, selecting library materials, and working on special projects to constantly improve our services and collections.  Librarians also participate in various library and university committees and research projects.

We are always looking for ways to improve and we definitely will keep in  mind your comments when scheduling for all these service points.  Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

For more assistance, add contact information

You wrote:

For online journals, clues keeps disconnecting me from any online journal such as science direct every 20 seconds or so. If I don’t know exactly which links to click within those 20 or so seconds, I need to go back to the concordia library website, relog, and repeat the process.

Thank you for writing to us.  I was unable to replicate the situation you described in your email.  Unfortunately, I cannot help you further with your question because I do not know if you experienced this problem on-campus or off-campus and what web browser you are using.  Also, there could be a problem with your login.  Please add contact information to your comment if you would like some assistance.  You can also try one of our Ask a librarian services, available at .

Hope your problem with accessing online journals gets resolved soon.

Getting oriented

You wrote:

Considering the library is the spirit center of a university, it is essential for all students to be familiar with the library. Like in any other big universities, our libraries are also complicated and we even have two campuses. In a word, I strongly suggest the library offer some orientation tours for all students to the libraries in two campuses. The activity might be held once per week.

Thank you for your suggestion. It’s great to hear students tell us that we are at the heart of university life — we feel that way too! And it is also very true that the workings of university libraries can seem complicated and even intimidating, especially at first.

We definitely do offer orientations to all students, so cheers to you for bringing this up. We are giving tours of both the Vanier and Webster libraries, several times per week, until January 14.   We have also begun our series of Library Essentials Workshops. These consist of hands-on orientation sessions held in our library classrooms, guiding you through the services and resources we offer.  You might want to start with the all-purpose session “What the library can do for you” and then follow up with one or more of the workshops geared to specific subject areas and needs.  Your choices this semester include:  “Humanities and social sciences essentials”, “RefWorks: the bibliography builder”, “Discover Engineering Village” and “Searching in PubMed”.  For a schedule, as well as descriptions of these tours and instruction sessions, just look for the Workshops link on our homepage and under our Help & Instruction tab.

Trouble getting into the system

You wrote:  

How come I can’t get in to the system? I type my name and bar code and get told it is invalid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

I’m sorry to hear that you cannot get into the system.  What are you trying to access?  A database?  A journal article?  An e-book?

At first glance, it sounds to me like you need assistance with your barcode and PIN.  Information on library PIN is available on this page:  

If you are working off-campus, you may also like to consider downloading the VPN software onto your computer.  Information on how to do that is available at:  

If you are trying to accesss the wireless network in the library, find out how to set up your laptop at:   

Or perhaps you are trying to access one of the library’s computers?  Your portal netname and password should let you in.  If you need to re-set your MyConcordia password, you can do so at:  

 Finally, if none of these pages are helpful, do not hesitate to “ask a librarian” for help.  You can contact us via chat, email, telephone and face-to-face.  Contact information is available at: 

Good luck!

Chat with a librarian

You said:
“First time I used the chat reference service and it was a success. The person that I chatted with was extremely patient, and help me to track a very hard to find article.”

Jean-Marc Edwards, Assistant Director, User Services replied:
Thank you for using our online reference service. We also offer assistance over email, phone, at the Reference desk, and consultations on appointment. Check our Ask-a-librarian service.