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Ask a Librarian Guidelines

Who may use this service?

While this service is intended for use by the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Texas-Pan American, it is available to anyone. However, if you are not affiliated with UTPA, we regret that we can only reply to your questions or comments if they concern the University or resources unique to its library.

Once I submit my question or comment, to whom will it be sent?

All questions or comments are sent directly to a University Librarian. Those questions or comments that relate or refer to a specific library department or collection may be forwarded to that respective department if deemed necessary and appropriate.

What type of information should I supply this service when submitting a question or comment?

Please supply us with as much information as possible including other resources you may have consulted.

How soon can I expect to receive a reply or answer?

This service is monitored Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., not including holidays. Questions or comments received during these hours will receive a reply within 24 hours. Questions received after 5 p.m., on Fridays or during the weekend will be responded to within 24 hours of the next business day.

What questions can I ask via this service?

This service is intended for questions that may be asked of our reference department either in person or over the telephone. Questions of this type might include, but are not limited to:

  • Does a library have a copy of a particular book/journal?
  • Where might I begin to search for information on a particular topic?
  • What department at UTPA may I contact if I need ________?
  • Questions or comments relating to specific departments or collections at the University Library.

What types of questions are not appropriate for this service?

  • We will not answer any questions about matters of a legal or medical nature.
  • We will not offer any type of medical, legal or tax advice.
  • We cannot answer questions that require extensive research.
  • While we may suggest or recommend particular resources, we will not advise you as to which is best for you to use for the purposes of your research.
  • We will not be able to create bibliographies.


Please proceed to our Ask a Librarian page to submit a question, comment, thought, chat, email, or text.

Reference Department Contact Number: (956) 665-2752