University Libraries

Reference Services

Walk-in reference is currently unavailable.  Please call, email, or use chat to contact a Mulford Librarian.

What is Reference?

Reference is the part of the library's services where we help you find the information you need, whether it's a phone number or address, information on a drug, medical test, or disease, or a list of article references on a topic. We also help you select and use the best resources to find what you need. Whenever you need information and don't know where or how to search, ask for help. Our goal is to make sure that you have the information you need - for patient care, research, administrative decisions and strategic planning, a course assignment, or a personal health concern - in a timely and confidential manner.

Reference Assistance @ Mulford: Saving You Time and Frustration

We know that it can be challenging finding the information you need for work or course assignments in a timely manner, especially if you don't search for information regularly. At the Mulford Health Science Library, the service desk is the first place to ask for help. Some questions or requests need to be referred to the reference librarian on call. Mulford reference librarians are available to help during these times:
Monday-Friday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Mulford Reference Assistance is designed to accommodate a variety of work schedules and styles. You can get help in a variety of ways:
In person. You may talk with a reference librarian in person during the above hours. Ask to speak with a reference librarian at the service desk on the fourth floor. No need to make an appointment, though you can make one if you want. (A reference librarian can come to your office or lab, or you can come to the library.)

By phone. Call us at 419.383.4218 any time. If you are transferred to voice mail, please leave a message with your name, phone number, and a brief message. The first available librarian will return your call. (If you call over the weekend, we'll return your call on Monday morning.)

By email. Send reference questions and requests by email anytime to Expect to receive a response within two working days. Users not affiliated with The University of Toledo may be referred to their local library for more direct assistance.

By online form. University of Toledo faculty, staff, and students may send questions and requests via the online reference question form. Expect a response within two working days.

By IM or chat. Use our IM or chat reference service to reach a librarian. More information can be found on our Ask a Librarian page.

Literature Search Requests

We realize that that you may not have the time or expertise to conduct a literature search yourself, so you can ask to have a librarian to run a search for you. We run literature searches for faculty, administrators, residents, and staff members upon request. (Because The University of Toledo is an educational institution, students are encouraged to learn to search the professional literature on their own; in support of this, training sessions are available each semester - pre-scheduled, related to a particular course, or by appointment - and search assistance is available at the service desk on the fourth floor.) Users who are not affiliated with The University of Toledo will be referred to their local public library for assistance. The Mulford Library provides literature search support for systematic and other reviews. See the Systematic Review LibGuide for details.

Requesting a search

By online form. University of Toledo faculty, residents, and staff may send questions via the online literature search request form.

By phone. Call Reference Assistance at 419.383.4218 at any time. If you are transferred to voice mail, please leave a message with your name, phone number, and a description of the search topic.

By email. Send email to Reference Assistance at at any time.

Whichever way the request is submitted, it will be promptly forwarded to the librarian who will be doing the search, who will contact you if clarification is needed.

Fees for Searches

For University of Toledo faculty and staff, there are no fees for literature searches in databases like MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, Science Citation Index, and other OhioLINK databases. 

Turn-around time

The turn-around time for search requests is two working days; however, you will probably receive your search results before then.


You will receive a list of references related to your topic, from which you can determine which articles you would like to see. We can help you (or your secretary or research assistant) to determine whether an article is at Mulford online or in print. If it isn't, the Library can obtain the article for you. (For more information, see the Interlibrary Services page.) Search results can be provided in either of two ways:

Printed. If search results are printed out, there is a limit of 25 citations with abstracts or 75 citations without abstracts.

Emailed. All search results, with or without abstracts, can be emailed.

Online Resources Room and Other Library Computers

The Online Resources Room (ORR), the computer lab located adjacent to the service desk on the fourth floor, contains PCs that can be used to access the Libraries' catalog, databases, OhioLINK resources, and full-text books and journals. Note: Other PCs are located on the 5th floor. They offer similar functions those in the Online Resources Room. To use the computers in the library, you need to login with your UTAD account; visitors to the library can ask at the service desk to be logged in as a guest.

If you have any questions about using any of the Library's online resources, or if there are problems with any of the equipment in the ORR, contact a library staff member.

Remote Access to Library Resources

Check our remote access page to learn about off-campus access to online library resources.
Last Updated: 3/14/20