Personal Librarian Program

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What kinds of questions can I ask my personal librarian?

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What is the Personal Librarian Program?

The Personal Librarian Program provides personal academic library support to incoming iSchool Masters' students in all concentrations and programs.  

Each new student is matched to one of the four iSchool librarians, who are based in the Faculty's Inforum, a specialized library and information service for iSchool students and faculty. 

Lari Langford, Interim DirectorElisa Sze, Collections & Public Services LibrarianNalini K. Singh, Reference Services Coordinator

kathleen scheaffer, one of the 4 inforum personal librarians

iSchool librarians from left to right: Lari Langford, Elisa Sze, Nalini Singh, & Kathleen Scheaffer

The program's goals are:  1) to increase awareness; 2) to foster connection; 3) to save students' time; and 4) to provide professional advice.  A fuller description of our goals and desired outcomes is available.  

How does the program work?

New masters students will be emailed by their personal librarian in early September. She will email you a few times during the year, keeping you posted about the many services available to you, and suggesting timely resources.

You are strongly encouraged to email your PL with any questions you may have about:

  • Inforum services, resources, and facilities
  • General questions about the iSchool
  • Research strategies for your work on assignments and papers
  • The University of Toronto Library system, of which the Inforum is part, and more.  

How often you contact your PL is entirely up to you.  Ask us anything!  Feel free to approach us in-person as well.

How can my personal librarian help me?

We are here to help you feel comfortable and confident in your 1st year at the iSchool.  We can: 

  • Make you aware of what Inforum services, resources, and facilities exist
  • Answer questions about using the Inforum, e.g. finding course reserves, borrowing technology, registering for iSkills workshops, making research appointments, requesting material from other libraries, and more
  • Refer/connect you with the appropriate staff person who can help with your question
  • Assist you with assignments and papers by helping you find books and articles on your topic, and to develop effective search strategies and practices
  • Save your time by showing you how to efficiently and effectively navigate the wealth of resources provided by the University of Toronto Library system
  • Increase your academic confidence by demystifying research skills, and decoding library jargon
  • Connect you with other iSchool resources and people (as well as other U of T Libraries personnel) who may be of help with your projects and professional interests
  • Help you when you are unsure about where to start, or what to do next
  • Share our own on-the-job experiences as information professionals in a specialized academic library, and as former iSchool students

iSchool librarians, Nalini, Kathleen, and Elisa

How can you help us?  

We welcome your feedback to help us help you better. Email the PL coordinator, nalini [dot] singhatutoronto [dot] ca (subject: personal%20librarian%20program%20feedback) (Nalini Singh )with your comments and suggestions.  There will also be a short survey at the end of Winter term.  We look forward to working with you.

Acknowledgements to the librarians at Yale University Library and University of Toronto Libraries whose materials have helped to inform the iSchool's PL Program.

                                       Inforum librarians -- Nalini Singh, Kathleen Scheaffer, & Elisa Sze