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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ESL Graduate Student Guide

A guide to the University Library for English as a Second Language graduate students.

Reference Help

Ask a Librarian

Reference staff are available to answer your questions online through the Ask a Librarian chat service. This lets you send your questions as instant chat messages to library staff.


To contact a librarian by email, use this email form. Some departmental libraries also offer email reference assistance, refer to the departmental websites for more information.


To contact a librarian by phone, please refer to the Library homepage for library hours and telephone numbers.

As a service to patrons with disabilities, TTY phones are available in the following locations:

  • Information Desk, Main Library (217) 333-2290
    • The Information Desk is designed to provide answers to quick reference questions and assist in the use of library resources.
  • Grainger Engineering Library, (217) 333-3576

TDD users who need to make extensive use of a library not listed above may contact the Information Desk TTY.

One on One Assistance

Research and Writing Consultations

The Library hosts walk-in research and writing consultations during the semester to help students with the research process: topic selection, learning to search the online catalog and article databases, locating library materials, compiling effective bibliographies, and much more.

Writing Help

If you need help writing assistance schedule an appointment with the Writers Workshop, located in the Main Library.

Personal Research Consultation

Librarians are also available to assist with the planning and execution of your research. If you are pursuing research in which the help of a subject specialist may be useful, please visit the relevant departmental library for your subject area or, visit this page to view all the subject specialist librarians at the Library. All departmental library websites contain information about the nature of their collections as well as the names and email addresses of librarians who can help with your research.


Research Workshops

Savvy Researcher Workshops

The University Library offers a variety of drop-in workshops to help you with your research needs. We cover many topics including improving your library research skills, using current awareness tools, getting your research organized, how to be a better research/teaching assistant and much more! Please visit our workshop page for more information.