Ask a Librarian Chat

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

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I access online resources when I am not on campus?
A: Please login to UCI’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you are off campus. You can learn more about installing the VPN here:

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, email address, and status requested?
A: We ask for a name so we know how to address you, and an email address so you may receive the chat transcript and in case we need to send follow-up information.  We may also contact you for feedback on the service you received. We ask for your status to help provide you with the best possible answer.

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.

5. How do I exit?
A: Just click the “x" to close the chat, or click “Close Chat” if the librarian has disconnected.


Our chat software vendor, Springshare, retains a copy of chat transcripts. Before saving the transcripts the vendor deletes personal information such as names and email addresses. We may use transcripts only to monitor and improve quality of service and develop aggregated statistical data for reporting.
Springshare’s Privacy Policy is available here:

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.

No email addresses will be sold or given to any other entities.