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Rural Development Institute

LibGuide for Rural Development students at BU!

Library Help

Are you not sure where to start using the library? University libraries can be intimidating spaces, and librarians and library staff are here to help break it all down for you.

If you need help from a librarian or a library staff member, go to the John E. Robbins Library website at


If you click on Make a Research Appointment, also known as a Reference Appointment, you can book a one-on-one session with a librarian. Librarians can help with searching for resources for your research papers and help you determine what sources would be useful to you. If you don't know where to start with using the library, meeting with a librarian can help you get comfortable with library resources.

If you need immediate help, or have question about the library hours, etc., you can use our virtual chat! Click on the Chat is Online! button in the bottom right hand corner, and a chat box will pop up. 

You can use this chat box to ask library staff questions. If your questions require more in-depth help, you will likely be asked to make a reference appointment. 

If none of the available appointment times work for you, feel free to email Laura Jacyna, Rainer Schira, or Marian Ramage and and they will try to find a time to accommodate you. 

How this LibGuide will help you

RDI has diverse research affiliations, and multiple community and government linkages related to its rural development mandate. RDI disseminates knowledge and information to a variety of constituents and stakeholders and makes research information and results widely available to the public either in printed form or by means of public lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, webinars, and social media.

This LibGuide has been developed to respond to rural trends, challenges, and opportunities, the needs of various stakeholders, and the necessity to sustain a viable organization, RDI is committed to pursuing five specific research themes: rural immigration, regional economic development, governance and capacity building, and rural infrastructure and services, and rural innovation. These directions build on both past and current research initiatives and, will also incorporate emerging research needs and contribute both directly and indirectly to BU’s strategic plan, academic plan, and research plan.

If you are looking to become familiar with current issues about rural development five strategic research directions and related research then click on each tab to lead you to the different materials.  Here you will find books from the RDI Library's collection, full-text articles, journals, publications and references that will give you more general information about what professionals in the field of rural development are discussing and researching.

The tab, RDI Publications, one of RDI’s functions is disseminating research findings and applied research practices to policy-makers, researchers, rural communities, students and practitioners. A number of our publications are available electronically and in print.

If you want more specific information on the five strategic research directions, then click on RDI Five Strategic Research Directions and their corresponding tabs. Under this tab you will find books relevant to past and present research as well as both regionally and internationally based. The books can be found by clicking on the RefWorks link under each of the strategic research directions which will direct you to a listing of books under specific topics which are available for loan or just viewing.