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Virtual Reference Guide: Home

A guide to virtual reference services available at the BU library


Virtual Reference is an internet chat service provided by LibraryH3lp.

Use it to communicate with library staff from off-campus (or on-campus, too!) to receive assistance with library research.

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Virtual Reference Information

What is Virtual Reference?

LibraryH3lp is an Internet chat service provided by library staff. You can use it to receive virtual reference assistance and for information about library and campus procedures. You can access the LibraryH3lp chat service from the bottom right corner of the library's homepage. Just click on this button:



Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

What We CAN Do:

LibraryH3lp is designed to give quick answers to basic questions about library services and research.  We will try to answer your question in the most efficient way possible and direct you to more information that you will find helpful. Examples of the types of questions we get are: "Do you have this journal article?" or  "What are the hours of the BU Library?"

Via LibraryH3lp, we can send you links to books and ebooks in our catalogue, links to and full text of journal articles if you are a BU student or faculty member, and help you with other information requests. If you need more in-depth research assistance or assistance that we do not have the resources to provide, we will do our best to refer you to the appropriate person or department.

Examples of what we CAN'T do:

  • LibraryH3lp can't obtain access to databases, ebooks, and other electronic materials if they are restricted to registered users of the library that owns them, if you aren't a registered user of that library (e.g. U of M databases are not available to BU patrons).
  • We don't provide document delivery or book loans. We may be able to renew your books, though.
  • We can't do technical troubleshooting, but we will refer you to the Helpdesk.
  • We can't give writing support, but we will refer you to the University's Writing Centre.


What We Can ALSO Do

You can book a phone or email research appointment with library staff by clicking on the "Book a Research Appointment" button on the library's homepage.

You can also contact these library staff people directly: 

Rainer Schira: (204) 727-7463;

Marian Ramage: (204) 727-9645;