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Library Services

Schedule a Research Consultation

If you would like individual help in finding research materials or using a particular electronic or print resource, you may want to schedule an appointment with a reference librarian.

Note: Consultations are normally scheduled from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. We do not do the actual research for you, nor will we be able to help you with the mechanics of writing a paper - the Writing Center will be helpful with this.

FGCU Student ID#: 
The best way to contact you:  
Consultation desired : 

Please provide three different times between Monday through Friday (9 A.M. to 5 P.M).

What is the topic of your research? Please be as specific as possible.

If you have already started your research, what have you done so far?

After we receive your request, we will contact you within approximately 24 hours (excluding weekends) to set up a mutually convenient day and time for the research assistance:

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Schedule a Research Consultation?
Schedule a Research Consultation: provides FGCU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one or small group consultation with a member of the Reference Team.  This service allows us to provide you with more focused research support.

What are the hours of service?
In general, Schedule a Research Consultation sessions are conducted Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.  However, depending upon the availability of Library Faculty, evening and weekend assistance can be provided.

How long does the Schedule a Research Consultation session last?
These sessions are intended to last approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Additional consultation time can be scheduled as needed.

What do I need to do to use this service?
There are very few restrictions on the Schedule a Research Consultation service.

  • This service is offered only to FGCU students, faculty or staff.
  • It is expected that requesters will meet their appointment time, or contact us within in a reasonable time period to cancel. Missed appointments could jeopardize future use of this service.
  • You may be asked to complete a Schedule a Research Consultation Assessment Form after the session.

Where is this service provided?
Schedule a Research Consultation sessions are held in the FGCU Library.  The consulting Librarian will decide whether a private office or an open lab session is appropriate.

Why must I first sign up using a web form?
The web form is used to collect data that enables us to evaluate and improve this service.  All information concerning you, including e-mail, name, and phone number, will be kept confidential and fully protected in accordance with library privacy laws.

Who can use this service?
This service is intended for the students, faculty, administration, and staff of Florida Gulf Coast University.  It you are not affiliated with FGCU, we can only reply to your inquiry if it concerns Florida Gulf Coast University or some unique resource of the Florida Gulf Coast University Library.  It is recommended that patrons not associated with Florida Gulf Coast University work with a library in their local area to obtain research support.

Who will receive / answer my request?
A trained member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Library Reference Team will contact you after you request a personalized consultation.  During this initial consultation, we will ask questions concerning your research consultation needs, resources you have already consulted, and so forth.  The first contact will establish a specific research consultation appointment time if it is determined that you still need such support.

What kinds of research consultation requests are appropriate?
FGCU's Personalized Research Consultation Service is designed for in-depth, customized research consultation with a trained member of the Reference Team.  Some examples of why you might wish to schedule an appointment include:

  • Opportunities for uninterrupted, focused sessions 
  • Lengthier consultation sessions than can normally be provided at the Reference Desk
  • Consultation sessions during non-traditional Reference Desk hours
  • One-on-one assistance from a FGCU Librarian
  • Training in advanced search techniques for specific electronic databases
  • In-depth discussion of your specific research need
  • Discovering alternative terms for your topic
  • Learning how and where to access appropriate databases
  • Building skills in interpreting the resulting citations 
  • Exploring various options for obtaining full-text library materials

What kinds of research consultation requests are not appropriate?
The FGCU Library Staff cannot conduct your research for you, or write specific research-related reports. We also cannot answer questions that a professor has assigned as part of a class assignment, or questions that require typing paragraphs or lists of information, such as:

  • Could you give me a list of SIC codes in the retail industry?
  • Can you provide a brief summary of the key facts of the Revolutionary War?
  • What do the critics say about O Henry's short story The Gift of the Magi?

How soon can I expect initial contact?
The FGCU Library Reference Team tries to initiate first contact with Schedule a Research Consultation requestors within one business day (for requests received Monday through Friday, excluding holidays).  The exact day and time of your personalized consultation will depend upon:

  • The desired mode of consultation (face-to-face in the FGCU Library, telephone, e-mail)
  • The availability of FGCU Reference Team members 
  • The ability of the FGCU Reference Team to contact the patron requesting Schedule a Research Consultation service
The FGCU Reference Team will make every effort to schedule your consultation within 48 hours of the initial contact session.

How can I expedite the process?
Please be as specific as possible when writing your question.  Tell us what resources you have already used.  

  • Have a copy of the class assignment ready.  
  • Make sure you start the process early.  Many in-depth personalized consultations may require multiple sessions in order to satisfy the research needs of a specific project.
Note:  Patrons can also call the FGCU Library Reference Desk at 239-590-7630.