The E-mail a Librarian service is intended to provide answers to brief, factual, or ready reference questions from any user; affiliation with Ball State University is not required. It is outside the scope of the E-mail a Librarian service to fax, photocopy, scan, summarize, or otherwise recreate and/or send copies of text from library resources to any user.

A user's question may be sent from the Ask a Librarian webpage.

The user will expect a reply within 24 hours. If an answer to a question cannot be provided within 24 hours, a librarian will respond to the user within 24 hours to acknowledge receipt of the question and note the status of the search. A librarian will follow-up with an answer as soon as possible thereafter.

If a question requires a detailed answer or exhaustive research, a librarian will recommend useful resources and search strategies, and suggest that the user visit the University Libraries for additional assistance.

A user needing faster service should contact the Reference/Information desk via phone (765-285-1101) or Live Chat with a question, rather than using E-mail a Librarian. A user needing help with an in-depth research question may be referred to the Bracken Library Reference/Information desk or the Reference by Appointment service. Once a librarian has referred a user to another form of service, the librarian is under no obligation to continue the E-mail a Librarian transaction with the user.

To answer some requests, it may be necessary to consult with other specialized departments or service areas within University Libraries such as Archives and Special Collections, Educational Resources, GIS Research and Map Collection, Interlibrary Loan, or Circulation and Course Reserves.

By using this service, users agree to have their inquiries forwarded to other employees within the University Libraries, as appropriate.

The Ask a Librarian Coordinator maintains an archive of all E-mail a Librarian transactions. The archive is only accessible to employees of the University Libraries involved in maintaining the E-mail a Librarian account.


By using this service, the user agrees to have his/her E-mail a Librarian transaction recorded and archived for up to one year. All identifying information that accompanies the transaction will also be saved for up to one year, including the user's name and e-mail address. The University Libraries maintains the E-mail a Librarian archives for the purposes of follow-up interactions and librarian training. All E-mail a Librarian transactions may be stored on University e-mail servers, in a network folder on a University Libraries server.

Any user may request the deletion of his/her E-mail a Librarian transaction from the archives by contacting the Ask a Librarian Coordinator. The user will need to provide the date of his/her transaction in order to assure the appropriate deletion of the archived interaction.