Reference and Information Literacy Department

Reference and IL At-a-Glance


(502) 852-0433


Ekstrom Library 1st Floor

Chat hours

M-F 10am-5pm

Desk hours

M-Th 7:30am-10pm
Fri 7:30am-6pm
Sat 9am-5pm
Sun Noon-10pm

Librarians available

M-F 7:30am-5pm
Sun Noon-6pm

Who We Are

The Reference and Information Literacy Department is one partner in Ekstrom Library’s Learning Commons. Our mission is to employ our professional expertise to help students, faculty, and other researchers find, evaluate, and use information across multiple contexts and in all academic disciplines. Our services promote critical inquiry and facilitate the creation of new knowledge as part of the University of Louisville’s larger educational and research missions. The librarians in the department are all faculty members who hold master’s degrees in library science, do research, present, and publish. Several of the librarians and professional staff also have subject masters degrees as well.

Research Consultation

One-on-one or small group research consultations are available to faculty, staff, and students of the University of Louisville, in person, via phone, e-mail, and instant message. These can be walk-up or by appointment. The consultations can last from 15-60 minutes include instruction in finding and evaluating sources, in-depth database searching, as well as suggestions for other sources to consult.

Research consultation by appointment is recommended for upper-level undergraduates or graduate students in classes where their research projects are in-depth, specialized, and unique. Classes with a more standardized research assignment (where students all have to find similar information but on different topics for example) should make use of our large group instruction program. Research consultation by appointment can also be particularly useful for faculty members who are stepping back into research or who are researching in a field that is new to them.

Research Guides, Tutorials, & Tools

The Reference and Information Literacy Department is responsible for creating and maintaining tools for research self-help such as research subject guides and course guides, tutorials, handouts, maps of the library, and audio/Web tours of the building. A course research guide can be an especially useful resource for students as they complete their research projects. Please contact one of the librarians in the sidebar if you would like one created for your class.

Research Assignment Design

Since we work with many students and faculty and have experience helping with a variety of research assignments pdf, we often have a good sense of what will work well to accomplish your pedagogical goals. We are available to consult on the research aspects of your assignments. Please contact one of the librarians above in your subject area.

Collection Development & Materials Selection

Librarians select books, databases, journals, and other resources for the libraries in our assigned subject areas. We request purchase of items for both the Reference Collection (according to our departmental collection policy pdf) and the general circulating or online collections. All large expenditures must be approved through the Office of Collection Development.

Library Support for New Academic Programs / (Re-)Accreditation Reviews

The librarians often assist the Head of the Office of Collection Development on reviews of our library’s collections to support new academic program or accreditation reviews. Inquiries about this process should be directed to the appropriate subject librarian or the Head of the Office of Collection Development.

Non-UofL Groups

We heartily support introducing students to academic libraries early in their school career, but we also feel it is necessary to balance this with the fact that many information resources are now accessible outside the library and the realization that large groups sometimes disrupt the library's primary users (U of L faculty, staff, & students). Please remember that many of the databases that students would use here are now available at any Internet-connected library through the Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL).

At Ekstrom Library, we do not routinely provide instruction sessions or tours for these groups, but we are happy to meet with and orient the teachers/school librarian before the group comes, in order to help them provide basic information to their students.

If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment to meet with a librarian, please contact Josh Whitacre at (502) 852-8699.

JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.
JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.