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Ask Chat with a Librarian

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Get information and research help from anywhere! Click on the "Ask Chat with a librarian" icon to start a chat session.  We can help you with:

  • Getting information about library services during COVID-19 times
  • Finding resources about a topic
  • Locating a specific book or article
  • Understanding and using library services, resources, and tools effectively

Hours of service: Fall term: September 8 – December 11, 2020

  • Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 10 pm
  • Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Saturday: 12 – 6 pm
  • Sunday: 12 – 6 pm
  • CLOSED: Monday October 12: Thanksgiving
  • CLOSED: Monday September 7: Labour Day

What students are saying about Ask Chat with a Librarian

"[The chat operator] was very helpful, and quick! I could not be more pleased with this service. Thank you." (May 5, 2020) 

"Online chat was my only option to get an answer to my query and everything worked out perfectly. This service is an absolute must, pandemic or not! Thanks so much."   (April 5, 2020)

"I love this chat. It's great, especially when campus is closed or if you can't make it to campus. 10/10 I'll definitely use it again ..." (April 4, 2020)

"I recently completed the "Ask a Librarian" online chat sessions with two librarians [...]. I would just like to pass on the message that both were phenomenal in helping me and answering my questions. They explained everything and gave me lots of details, tips and information [...] Also, I want to convey my support and appreciation for the Chat service. It is absolutely essential and has helped me numerous times. Thank you."
-3rd year social work graduate student

Sample chat

screenshot of an active Ask a Librarian chat window

Privacy policy

Scholars Portal is a service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). OCUL is a consortium of 21 academic libraries in the province of Ontario and acts under the authority of the Council of Ontario Universities.

In order to begin a chat session, Ask a Librarian users must indicate their university affiliation and level of study. This information is used to ensure that Ask a Librarian staff are providing the best possible research assistance. While staff may request your email address during a chat session in order to follow-up on a research request, you are never obligated to provide it.

OCUL, the University of Toronto, and all Ask a Librarian staff respect your privacy. User data can only be accessed by Scholars Portal staff and by designated administrators from participating libraries. Information provided while using the service is collected primarily for statistical reporting to the OCUL board of directors, funding agencies, and your local institution. Data collected through the service may also be used for research purposes, but privacy and anonymity of users will be ensured. Personal information that you provide in order to use Scholars Portal services will be protected in accordance with FIPPA, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. We will not disclose any personal data we collect from you to any party in a manner that would identify you, except to fulfill your service request or where required by law.