Submitting Support Requests

| October 3, 2012

Following up on Anne and Clare’s How-To Posts, I’m going to cover some basics of support requests

A library staff member has just asked you to submit a support request. What does that even mean?! What’s the point? How does it work?

The Gottesman Libraries Support Request System is an email form system that we use to direct concerns, requests, and comments to those best qualified to answer them. To get to the form, simply click the “Submit a Support Request” Link from the library’s homepage, under the Library Services tab:

Submit a Support Request link here

There are eight categories of support requests:

  • Research Assisstance
  • Materials Request
  • Books and the Library Stacks
  • Russell Hall Facilities
  • Project and Course Support
  • Webpages and Electronic Support
  • Vendors
  • Other

Each category has several specific requests, but there are three we use most often at the Services desk:

1. “I would like schedule a consultation with a librarian or have my research question answer via email.”

There are a few reasons to choose this option. If you need to write a paper, dissertation or other major work and don’t know where to start, you can schedule a consultation with a librarian, who will sit down with you and teach you some research and discuss your topic. Another reason to use this request is if you are at home or the library is closed and you would like a question answered via email. Our librarians will try to answer your question as quickly as possible, but keep in mind, it may be the next day. Finally, sometimes, someone at the desk might suggest you send a support request to a librarian. We will only do this if you stump at the front desk.  Our librarians have more training and experience to answer (or find the answer) to most questions.

2. “I can’t find a book on the shelf – I’d like place a trace request”

Sometimes, books aren’t where they’re supposed to be on the shelves. There are few reasons for that – sometimes the book has been recently returned and hasn’t been put back on the shelf, sometimes someone uses it somewhere in the library but doesn’t put in the reshelving area (in the stacks next the stairs) and sometimes, the book is just plain missing. If you’ve looked up the book in our catalog and it’s not checked out by someone else or on reserve (listed as location: ON RESERVE), you can send us a trace request. Just send us the title, author, and call number of the book, as well as your name and barcode (the number on the back of your ID card), and a staff member will search the library for your book. We perform two searches, just to make sure. If we find it, we’ll email you. If we don’t, we’ll also email, letting you know the book is considered missing now and if you would like, we will order another copy.

3. “I need a book from the closed stacks – I would like to make a retrieval request”
We keep some books in the closed stacks in the basement of the library, only accessible to members of staff. These books are part of the historical collection and include: Archives and Manuscripts, Children’s Fiction, Pre-1990, Curriculum Materials, Pre-1990 , Dissertations, Research Resources, Pre-1950, TCana. You can still use these items, but they need to be retrieved by a staff member. To get a closed stacks item, Just send us the title, author, and call number of the book, as well as your name and barcode, just like with the trace request, just use the closed stack request instead. Books are retrieved in 24 -48 hours, except on the weekends, so plan ahead. Also, when you request a closed stack item, you may see that the item’s status is “Lib Use Only”. That means the item is rare or fragile, so we have to ask you to use it in the library. We have a room behind the desk where you look at the book and make scans if needed.

These are just three of the options for submitting support requests. Please feel free to use whichever request best fits your needs. And don’t be afraid to ask us for help submitting requests – we are happy to help and just want you to get the best answer for your questions as quickly as possible.