Chat with a Librarian

Chat with a Librarian icon

Email a Librarian

Email a Librarian


Contact us for reference questions, instruction in the use of library resources, and any other research-related needs.

Chat with a Librarian

This service is a chat session which allows a patron and librarian to chat live via a computer. We are able to instruct the patron while he/she is still connected to the Internet. The chat option is typically located on the left side of the screen.

Email a Librarian

This service allows patrons to send us their questions via email. The patron will receive a reply within 24 hours (except for weekends and holidays). This service is helpful to patrons when the live chat mode is unavailable or if the question is a more lengthy research question. A reply may only acknowledge receipt of your email. A full answer to your question may be sent later. The email option is located on the left side of the screen.

Call a Librarian

Patrons may call to speak with a librarian directly. The toll-free instate number for Maine is: 1.800.339.7323. Out-of-state students may call the national number: 1.888.479.4452.

Contact Us Directly

Stacey photo

Stacey Brownlie, MLS
Director Off-Campus Library Services
Phone: (207) 621-3186


Who Can Use These Services?

The services above are available to students enrolled in University of Maine System distance education courses. All others may be referred to a local public or campus library if we find we are unable to answer the question.

Questions We Answer

The types of questions best handled by chat are ready reference (quick research and answer) and instruction in the use of OneSearch, the URSUS book catalog, databases and journals, and other resources. For reference questions that take a longer time to research and cannot be answered during a chat session, we will either reply through e-mail or call you, providing you leave us a daytime phone number where you can be reached. The types of questions we handle by e-mail are the same as for chat. In addition, we can answer more extensive reference questions.

Questions We Do Not Answer

The following are examples of the types of questions we cannot answer, but for which we may be able to provide a source:

  • Medical or law-related advice
  • Product evaluations, appraisals
  • Legal questions, tax questions

Days & Time

Chat and Phone:

In-session hours:

Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Summer and Break Hours:

Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


24 hours a day. We send a reply within 24 hours of receiving your message, keeping in mind the office is closed Saturdays and has limited Sunday hours. Some questions may take longer to answer. In this case, we will at least let you know we received your message, and we will send an answer as soon as possible. If you don’t get any response from us within twenty-four hours, this means we did not get your message. Please e-mail again, or call our toll-free number: 1.800.339.7323 (Maine) or 1.888.479.4452 (out-of-state).

Please be aware that the timeliness of the replies depends on when the e-mail was originally sent. If the e-mail is sent on Friday evening, or during holidays, there may be a delay in our response time.

Terms and Conditions:

Before using our services you need to read the applicable rules and policies pertaining to the chat and email services. By using these services, we understand you have read the applicable rules and policies regarding the chat and email services and have agreed to these rules and policies.

Rules pertaining to the questions submitted to our services:

  1. We may refuse to answer questions.
  2. We may refuse services to you if we determine you are not using our services in the way in which they were meant to be used. This includes, but not limited to, questions that are: illegal, harassing, libelous, threatening, harmful, obscene or objectionable, or that violates any applicable local, state, national, or international law or regulations.
  3. You agree that your question will enter the public domain, and you will retain no ownership rights to your question.


All reference transactions are confidential. Please be assured this information will not be shared, sold, etc., outside the Off-Campus Library Services Office. For statistical purposes, we will keep track of the questions and number of users–but not specific information on the users. Transcripts may be kept for a period of time to help us evaluate our service and help us with collection development.