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Medical Library / Information & Communication Sciences

Research Assistance

Phone: 217.545.2113

Reference Support

Onsite reference service is available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Questions sent through the Ask a Librarian form will be responded to during these hours. Reference staff provide assistance with:

  • finding quick factual information
  • finding books, journals and audiovisual materials
  • developing an effective search strategy for finding information; evaluating the information to answer the question
  • poster printing
  • using the software and hardware on the public computers
  • accessing the services, materials and resources within the library
  • help users navigate the Library’s web site
  • tours of the Medical Library
  • orientation to the Medical Library

Reference Desk

The Reference desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Beyond these hours, Reference staff is on-call for an additional 25 hours per week. Evening and week-end support is provided by the Circulation staff.

Finding Books, Journals and Multi-Media

The Medical Library is a member of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) and participates in the statewide online catalog. The local Medical Library Catalog includes our book, journal title, multi-media and software holdings. Other information included within each entry includes the call number and location within the Library, as well as the availability.

If the Medical Library does not own the needed material, search the statewide I-Share catalog to check the holdings of the other 86 academic libraries in the consortium. Each registered user should set up his/her own account on the I-Share system in order to request items from other libraries. The status of requested or borrowed items is listed within the personal account. Individual training sessions on how to set up an account and searching the catalog can be arranged with reference staff.

Expert Search Service

Reference librarians can search over 500 databases through several different search services for articles and books on many topics. Librarians are trained on the specific search requirements of each system as well as how to analyze complicated search questions to find the best results.

  • Literature searches can be submitted by the online Literature Search Request Form, by telephone, or in person.
  • Searches conducted on fee-based databases (i.e. PsycInfo, Embase, etc.) will incur charges to recover the costs of online access and the downloading of search results. These searches must be approved for payment in advance by the department fiscal officer or paid by personal check.
  • Searches are usually completed within 24 hours, except on week-ends. Search results can be emailed to the requester or picked up at the Circulation desk.

Searching by SIUSM Users

Many bibliographic and full text databases are freely available for direct searching by SIUSM users. These databases cover many different subject areas and time periods. Reference staff can provide training and direction on these databases. Contact the reference desk at 217.545.2113 or to schedule an appointment.

Poster Printing

Reference staff support the printing of posters on a large format printer for SIUSM users whose departments have paid for the service.

Users need to design their own posters. Reference staff can provide some basic suggestions on poster set-up and design. Users can either load the print drivers on their office computers and send the poster document to the printer queue for printing, or bring their posters to the Medical Library on a memory stick or CD, or save it to the Library’s shared server. The posters will then be released to the printer by library staff.

The Library supports PowerPoint and Microsoft Word for poster design. Posters designed in other software need to be saved as PDF documents before sending the final version to the printer queue. Classes are offered on poster and presentation design.

Software Support

Software support is provided for word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, desktop publishing, web page development and the Internet.

Scientific Editing Service

SIUSM authors can submit drafts of manuscripts, abstracts and grant proposals for editing by Information and Communication Sciences/Library faculty.

The service offers suggestions relevant to journalistic style, clarity and use of appropriate scientific language, but does not review for content.

Drafts should be provided as a Word document. They can be emailed directly to Library faculty will provide a two week turn around time, unless other arrangements have been made. For more information see the Scientific Editing page.

Tours and Orientations to the Medical Library

Tours of the Medical Library and orientations to the services and resources available can be arranged by contacting the reference desk at 217.545.2113.


SIU Medical Library | 801 N Rutledge St.,Springfield, IL 62702 | (217)-545-2658