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Ask a Librarian

All services follow the guidelines outlined in the Research and Instructional Services Department's reference services philosophy statement.


Click the Ask a Librarian button on the right to start chat with the reference staff in Newman Library. Supply your name, email address, Virginia Tech affiliation, and the nature of your question. Depending on the area to which your question most closely pertains.

Chat is available all hours that the reference desk is open.

Close chat window to end the session and then indicate whether or not you want a copy of the transcript.

Text a Librarian

You can ask Text (SMS) questions to a librarian by sending the message to (540) 986-4614. Messages sent during hours when the reference desks are staff will be answered quickly; other messages will be answered when we reopen.

Users with smart phones or devices with internet capabilities will be able to use the links we send. If you connect to the internet over your carrier's network (as opposed to using the Virginia Tech wireless network), you will need to use Off Campus Sign In to access restricted, subscribed resources. Very in-depth questions should be directed to our Ask a Librarian chat or a live phone call.


Send a question to the library's reference staff. Priority is given to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, and to questions pertaining to Virginia Tech library collections. Questions are answered as quickly as possible, normally within a few hours, but if referred to a specialist additional time may be necessary. You can receive an email confirmation that your question has been received.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions knowledgebase

Or browse a topic:

See also the library's All site A-Z index or Search the library website.

Research consultations with subject librarians 

Consult the College Librarian program and contacts page for most appropriate contact.


Reference Desk on 2nd floor Newman. 540-231-9232

Special Collections on 1st floor Newman (entrance in lobby). 540-231-6308

Branch libraries 

Art + Architecture Library: 1st floor, Cowgill Hall. 540-231-9271

Northern Virginia Center Library: Falls Church site, 1st floor. 703-538-8340

Veterinary Medicine Library: Phase III Building, 1st floor. 540-231-6610

Reference services philosophy 

The staff of the Research and Instructional Services Department are committed to provide knowledgeable, timely, courteous, and non-judgmental reference assistance to all library patrons, regardless of the nature of the inquiry or the means of communication (in-person, telephone, online through chat or email, written correspondence). All questions will be treated confidentially and respectfully. Where appropriate, questions may be referred to other persons or units within the library. The Reference Services Philosophy follows the precepts outlined in the American Library Association's Code of Ethics.


Newman Library break hours

Sun, May 17: 9:00am- 6:00pm
Mon-Fri, May 18-22: 7:30am - 8:00pm
Sat-Sun, May 23-24: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Current semester hours