Research Assistance Program: The Personal Touch

Research Assistance Program?

Haven’t heard of it?

The Research Assistance Program (RAP) was launched on September 24, 2018.  It was formerly the “Personal Librarian Program.”   Why change the name?  The reference team wanted a better description of the program so students would know what they were getting.

The Research Assistance Program now has its own landing page to house information about the program and to let you view the members of the reference teams that have been assigned to help you  seek the information you need.  We wanted to let you see who you will be dealing with and give a face to those names to help you establish a working relationship throughout your program.

We send students a monthly email of what is going on and remind the students that we are here to help and if they need our assistance to contact us. We are hoping this better defines what a Personal Librarian is.  We are hoping to attract more students in the program that need a “go-to” person.  If you need help with research, finding the right terms to search, or which databases to search among the 145 listed on the Library’s website, we are here for you.  Yes, library staff already does this, but if you want someone who is already familiar with what you are working on and that you can develop a relationship with throughout your program, this is our aim.

Through the Personal Librarian Program email we received 8 requests besides the request we received through library instructions, referral from professors, first time/first year students, etc. Since the launch of the Research Assistance Program with its own landing page we have welcomed 25 new students into the program through December 2018.  We have received eight more requests for the month of January which makes our total 33 new students so far.

If you are unable to reach the reference person assigned to you, you can always find help by calling the reference desk at 402-557-7313, or emailing us at  For those who need immediate answers or assistance in the middle of the night, we have the 24/7 reference cooperative chat service available to you.  The 24/7 reference cooperative is staffed by participating academic libraries that have agreed to answer questions for each other in real time around the clock.   Reference staff follows up on the chat to make sure you have received the correction information to your question.

Interested? You can find more information on the Library’s website under the services tab “Research Assistance Program.”

Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than BooksV. 22 No. 2, Spring 2019.

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