Skip to Main Content

Parents and Family Members' Guide to the SU Libraries: How to Get Help

This guide is intended to help parents and other family members of SU students get to know what the Libraries have to offer their students.

We want to help

Many students are shy about asking for help, but they shouldn't be! The people who work at the SU Libraries are very helpful, and we know that doing college-level research can be confusing and daunting. Please encourage your student to ask us for help. Keep in mind, though, that our staff will NOT do the research for them but rather will help them learn to do research on their own.

Research Guides

Our librarians have created research guides for every academic department and many (but not all) individual classes as well as topic guides. These guides can be a great tool to help your student get started doing research.  

Library Research Guides

How to Do Library Research

Citation Style Guide

Research help

Below are some of the ways your student can get help:

1. In-person:

GAC: The left side of the Library Service Desk (as you face it) is the Research Help Desk. This is staffed by friendly librarians and well-trained student workers. They can help your student figure out how to search for books or journal articles, what databases to search and how best to search them, how to access e-resources such as e-books or online journals, and where to find items physically within the building.

CRC: The staff at the Circulation Desk are willing and able to help you in whatever way they can.

2. Chat: On the SU Libraries website contact page, there is a chat box that allows students to chat directly with a library staff member. 

3. Email: Students can email questions to We will direct the email to the appropriate person. This obviously will take longer than chat.

4. Phone: Students also can call 410-548-5988 with questions about research or collections or 410-543-6130 for general questions or questions about their library account (renewing books, fines, etc.). Distance students may call 1-888-543-0148 for toll-free help.

5. Research Consultations: Your student can meet one-on-one (or group-on-one) with a research librarian in person, or, for distance students, by phone or Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Each academic department has a librarian liaison, and students are welcome to contact the liaison for help with a research assignment (again, we won't do the research for your student, but will help them figure out how to find and use the best sources for their assignment). For a list of liaisons and instructions on making an appointment, see our Research Consultations page.


Each academic department has a librarian assigned as a liaison. That liaison is a great resource for students in courses in that department. Your student is welcome to contact the liaison for help in figuring out search strategies and similar issues. See the list of liaisons at Departmental Liaisons.

Library Instruction

Most ENGL 103 and HONR 111 classes visit the GAC at least once for a librarian-led session on finding and using sources. Librarians also provide instruction for a variety of other classes from introductory to advanced levels, and they sometimes are embedded in online classes as well. The CRC also hosts occasional classes, usually from the Seidel School of Education.