Tips / Rules

  • NOTE: The service is not intended for mass testing When demonstrating the operation of the service to a group of users, no more than three group members should join the chat. Logging on in large numbers will prevent other users from getting in touch with the librarian/information professional.
  • When you ask a question, try to specify the problem in as much detail as possible, as it will not only make the work of the librarian/information professional much easier, but will also increase the chances that you will be satisfied with the answer you receive.
  • It is very helpful if you list the sources you have already searched so that the librarian/information professional will not repeat searches unnecessarily.
  • Ask specific questions, not questions like"What do you think about …?.
  • The reference service is not intended for receiving reservations or loan renewal requests for library material.
  • It is prohibited to use the service for commercial purposes.
  • The reference service shall not be responsible for any consequences that might result from the use of data obtained through this service.

On-Duty Schedule


An Information professional at IZUM is available for chatting Mondays to Fridays from 9.00 to 20.00 CET and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 13.00 CET (except holidays).

Questions by E-mail

Submit an enquiry by email at any time and you will receive the response within 24 hours.

More about the purpose

  • Assistance is provided by specially trained librarians/information professionals at participating libraries and IZUM.
  • The service is free of charge. You do not have to be a library member to use it.
  • The aim of the reference service is to make use of information and communication technologies and offer users a service that is only available at libraries otherwise.
  • The online reference service is not a substitute for the standard reference services available at libraries, especially if you need tips for searching for information on more complex subjects. This type of reference service is merely handier and adds a new dimension to libraries' information services.
  • 9 libraries (public and academic libraries) and IZUM are included in the Reference Service Ask a Librarian, covering various different subjects.
  • The reference service employs librarians/information professionals, who are information specialists and know how to find the information you are looking for.
  • When you ask a question via the question form or through the chat, one of the librarians/information professionals from one of the will reply to you.
  • We offer more than just answers to your questions; we will also teach you how to look for the answers yourself.
  • We can help you search for sources that will be helpful to you when writing seminar papers or diploma theses, as well as sources in the subjects you are especially interested in.
  • We can only answer questions, the answers to which can be found in actual information sources. It is not the purpose of the service to analyse facts, give opinions, or guess. We would like to provide you with documented and trustworthy sources.
  • Due to reasons of copyright and licence agreements, we will only provide you with information from publicly accessible sources.
  • We are satisfied when our users are satisfied. If you have any suggestions or comments, please send them to the following e-mail address:

Participating institutions

Protection of personal data

Questions and answers are usually added to the knowledge base. In this case, your name and e-mail address will be deleted automatically. Your e-mail address will not be added to any mailing list and we will do anything to prevent misuse.