Sharon Van Der Laan is head of Research Services at Milner Library. She knows how to find stuff.

Back in the pre-pandemic days a regular part of any good student’s week included spending time at Milner Library. In this current remote learning environment Milner is closed to walk-in patrons, with some services available by appointment. However, hard-working librarians remain on the job via virtual appointments.

“Librarians are here to help students every day of the week by chat, text, email and phone,” Van Der Laan said.

According to Van Der Laan, Milner is still the go-to source for students—no matter their major—looking to make the most of their online education. Here’s a list of Milner Library services to help the online student thrive:

Lets’ get started: Milner’s website offers users a chance to browse catalogs and databases. Whether you need a book, a scholarly journal article, or a magazine or newspaper article, Milner can track it down. If you’re in a time crunch, use one of the library’s databases (which you can access from home) to find what you need fast. Milner’s multi-media center is home to a massive collection of CDs and DVDs.

Virtual Reference Desk: Dial (309) 438-3451 to reach the Virtual Reference Desk. Librarians are available virtually seven days a week via phone, chat, text, or email. Fall hours are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m-6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday from noon-10 p.m.

Chat with us: On the Milner homepage, click on the “Chat with us” green button to start a chat with a librarian.

Text a librarian: Send texts to (309) 807-9442, and a Milner librarian will reply.

Subject librarians: There are dozens of Milner librarians who are specialists in specific fields of study. Van Der Laan, for example, is a subject librarian for the School of Communication. Students have the option of scheduling a time for a research consultation via Zoom or email.

Library guides: These helpful tools, created by Milner librarians, are available for every major at Illinois State. There are also library guides for a number of individual courses.

FAQs: Check out this section of the Milner website to find answers to other questions you may have about using Milner Library.

In addition, there’s an abundance of free resources that extend outside Milner’s walls. Milner staff can quickly yield a wealth of helpful information on topics ranging from devising top strategies for success with online classes to honing time-management skills. Van Der Laan said with the help of one of Milner’s professional librarians, there’s no limit to the resources available to help students make the most of their online learning experience.

“And, that’s only the beginning,” Van Der Laan said. “Milner librarians offer much to promote student success in online learning.”

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