Ask A UC Librarian is part of a 24/7 cooperative service. A librarian from any UC library or nation-wide library may answer your question.  Your own librarians will follow up as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I access online resources when I am not on campus?
Methods to access licensed electronic journals and databases from off campus vary from campus to campus. Most UC campuses use either a proxy server or virtual private network (VPN) or both. Check your campus:

2. Who may use this service?
A: This service is intended primarily for current UC students, faculty, and staff. Anyone may use the service, but we can provide only limited assistance to those outside the campus community.

3. Why is my name and email address requested?
A: We ask for a name so we know how to address you, and an email address in case we need to send follow-up information or the chat transcript if requested. We may also contact you for feedback on the service you received.

4. What kinds of questions do you answer?
A: You can ask us any research or library related question. For more in-depth questions we may follow up with you through email or refer you to your own campus library for more specialized assistance.

5. How do I prevent disconnects and crashes while using the service?
Do not try to bookmark sites or print anything during the session - this may result in a disconnect. At the end of the session, you will receive a list of links you were shown. Additionally, navigate within the chat software's forward, back and refresh buttons. Do not use the buttons on your browser.


Our chat software vendor, QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference, retains a copy of chat transcripts. Before saving the transcripts the vendor deletes personal information including names, addresses, phone numbers, library card or other identifying numbers, and identifying parts of email addresses. The company may use transcripts only to monitor and improve quality of service and develop aggregated statistical data for reporting.

In order to better help you, a librarian may ask for information regarding purpose (for instance, is this for a class assignment?) or class level (undergraduate? graduate?). Any information given to the librarian will become part of the session transcript. Information collected using this service is never published or shared voluntarily with any other entity. Some campuses have additional privacy policies. See the campus library home page for more.

An email address is not required to use this service. If you provide one, it will be used only to provide further service such as sending transcripts of the chat session or following up on an incomplete session. No email addresses will be sold or given to any other entities.