E-mail Reference Query Policy Statement

By default your question will go to the Scholars' Commons in the East Tower of the Herman B Wells Library (libref @ indiana.edu).

You may also choose another library from the drop-down menu on the Ask a Librarian page and send your question directly there. Sometimes we forward questions to a specialist on-campus library or librarian, in which case you will be copied on the message.


This service is intended for the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Indiana University, Bloomington. If you do not fall into one of these categories, we are sorry that we can only reply to your inquiry if it concerns Indiana University or some unique resource of the Indiana University Libraries.


Due to licensing agreements, alumni are not permitted remote access to the electronic databases to which we subscribe, nor are we permitted to send articles from databases to anyone other than currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. Alumni are always welcome to visit the library in person and may have full access to our electronic databases on site upon receiving a free, 20-day guest account.

Please note that all members of the Monroe County Public Library have access to a large collection of databases.


Any question you might ask at a reference desk in any of our libraries. At the Wells Library Reference Desk that might include:

  • Where should I begin to look for information on this topic? (e.g. libraries, networked resources and on the Internet)
  • I have looked in all the usual places, where else might I look?
  • Can you supply me with (an address, a quotation source, a correct citation, a historical fact, biographical fact, etc.)?
  • Does the library have an expert in this (e.g. field, language, subject area, service area, etc.) who might help me?

And just about anything else in support of research and instruction. Only the submission of lists of items (e.g. addresses) is not appropriate.

The Wells Library Reference Desk will respond to any single e-mail query as quickly as possible and usually within 24 hours. Other participating libraries have posted their response times in the drop-down menu of the Ask a Librarian page.

Chat Reference Service Hours and Policy Statement

Our chat service is available during Scholars' Commons Reference Desk hours. (Hours may vary on holidays and when classes are not in session.)
For a complete list of library hours see: Wells Library Hours.


This service is intended primarily for IU Bloomington students, faculty, and staff. Other users may submit questions concerning the resources or collections of the Indiana University Libraries.

We will attempt to answer all of your questions about library resources and services. Any question you might ask at the Reference Desk is appropriate. In order to answer your questions fully, you may be asked to email the librarian or to schedule a research consultation.