Reference Services


Reference staff are available to assist students, faculty, staff and community members with the resources available in JMU libraries. We can assist you with identifying and using electronic and print reference tools, creating search strategies, and answering specific informational questions. Stop by the Public Services Desk, call 568-6150, use the Ask the Library online reference service or contact your liaison librarian.

The Reference Area, located on the first floor of Carrier Library includes a large collection of materials (such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories and maps) which can be consulted in the building.


We assist our communities with locating, using, and understanding information.  With each encounter we strive to help our users develop information-seeking and evaluation skills that provide a foundation for critical thinking and independent learning.  Through careful recommendation of the most relevant resources, we provide the tools that answer the questions and teach the skills that inspire research.


We value every question and every library user.  We are dedicated to excellent service, and we bring professional skill, enthusiasm, and creativity to each inquiry.

Carrier Library Public Services Desk Hours

Fall and Spring Semesters

Monday-Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thursday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00-9:00 p.m.

Summer Session Hours (May/August)

Monday-Friday: Call or come by the Public Serivces Desk at (540) 568-6898

Carrier Library Hours | Rose Library | Music Library

Ask the Library/Email Reference
This service is offered to the JMU community and the public in order to provide brief library and reference information to individuals working from remote sites. Fill out the form, and we will do our best to respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. If your question involves extensive research, we may suggest that you visit or call the Carrier Library Public Services Desk at (540) 568-6150 for further assistance. Follow the link above to learn more about what this service entails.

Electronic Reference
The Electronic Reference Area on the first floor of Carrier Library has computers with walk-up access to the Library Web and the Internet including research databases covering all subject areas. Databases are also accessible from home or office computers (see instructions for connecting from off-campus).

Library Instruction 
Library faculty provide a multifaceted library instruction program for JMU students, faculty, and staff. The program includes: Go For the Gold (an online library orientation and basic skills tutorial), course-related instruction, instruction at the Public Services Desk and by appointment with liaison librarians, and research guides. Please visit the Library Instruction page for more information.

Quick Reference
The quick reference section of our library web page is dedicated to reference sites that are good places to look up quick facts and brief information. Categories under the quick reference menu include: almanacs, information about the Harrisonburg area, and style manuals just to name a few.

Liaison Program
A liaison librarian is assigned to each academic department to ensure that library services and collections meet the needs of students and faculty.

Reference Faculty and Staff
For a complete listing of all reference department staff and faculty, search the library faculty and staff directory by department reference or click here for a complete list of Liaison Librarians.

Subject Guides
Each liaison librarian creates and maintains research guides to aid users in discipline specific research. Visit the Subject Guides page for these research tools or print versions are available in the reference area of Carrier Library.