Ask a Librarian Guidelines

Ask a Librarian is a free service for people to ask library and research-related questions to U-M Library reference staff.


We primarily serve U-M Ann Arbor students, faculty, and staff, but anyone can ask a library-related question.

We specialize in information about local library resources, collections, facilities, and services. We also answer questions and comments about library-supported technologies, including our website and online resources.

We work to answer all questions, but some are best handled by other campus units or outside organizations. If we can’t answer your question, we’ll refer you to someone who can.

Chat accessibility

The Ask a Librarian chat interface is not compatible with all assistive technologies. Please note the following:

  • NVDA works well with Firefox on Windows
  • JAWS works well with Internet Explorer on Windows, but is inaccessible with Firefox
  • ChromeVox has known issues with both Windows and macOS, where the librarian chat response is not automatically announced
  • VoiceOver is inaccessible with all browsers tested

For more information, please see our browser compatibility vendor statement and assistive technology vendor statement.


We’re committed to confidentiality, in accordance with the library's privacy statement. We'll never send you unsolicited messages.

Acceptable behavior

Our librarians treat patrons who use the Ask a Librarian service with respect and courtesy. We expect people who use the service to treat our librarians with the same respect and courtesy. Unacceptable online behavior will not be tolerated, and may result in a report to schools, internet service providers, or law enforcement agencies.