Library Resources, Library Staff, Research, Tools & Tips

Your Personal Librarian Is Here to Help

By Jane Suda, Head of Reference and Information Services, and Jeannie Hoag, Reference & Assessment Librarian

Are you wishing for a magic wand? One that could help you save time, get things done, and make things just a little bit easier? Of course, even a magic wand comes with a learning curve. You’d have to practice to get your skills up to speed, learn the right spells, figure out how to wave the wand in just the right way. But once you had that figured out, you’d be unstoppable. You could have your best semester ever.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the library has just the magic wand you need: a personal librarian.

A magician surrounded by floating playing cards.
A personal librarian can teach you amazing research tricks.

What is a Personal Librarian?

The Personal Librarian Project connects you with an expert guide to the library. Do you want to know where all the good books live? Need some help figuring out a convoluted citation style?  Feel like you’re ready to delve into the exciting world of subject-specific databases? Well, my friend, if you’re reading this on the Library Blog, you can probably see where this is going. If you need help with anything moderately library-related, get help from a librarian! 

The Personal Librarian Project matches you with a Fordham librarian who will get to know you and help you navigate the library’s wide range of offerings, based on your individual interests and needs. According to a 2017 report by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), consultations with librarians are proven to enhance students’ academic success. And who wouldn’t want that? The Personal Librarian Project is free, and it’s also low stakes. Your personal librarian is there when you need them. If you don’t need them, they’ll be a little lonely but they’ll be fine.

Sign up for a personal librarian!

By the way, if you’re thinking “Gee, the Personal Librarian Project sounds great, but this seems a little awkward…” we see you, and we hear you. It’s super common for students to feel nervous or embarrassed to ask for help in the library–so common that there’s actually a term for it: library anxiety. Students hold themselves to some pretty unreasonable standards. You may feel like you should already know how to use the library’s databases, or how to find books on a specific topic, or how the library is responding to COVID-19. And because you feel like you should already know, you hesitate to ask. Sound familiar?

The best way to get an answer is to ask a question. We have a 24/7 Ask a Librarian chat service that’s a terrific way to get answers right now. But sometimes you want a little more, and that’s where the Personal Librarian Project comes in. Your personal librarian is like a mythical being who shows you all the library shortcuts and makes your time at Fordham so much easier, only it’s a real person. You should definitely sign up for a personal librarian. Set yourself up for success. Your future self thanks you!

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