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Peer Research Consultants

Training and information for PRCs

Citation Assistance

There are two types of citation assistance a patron might ask for.

  1. Citations / bibliography assistance
  2. Citation Managers

The first is something we do not do. However, what you would tell them instead is:

  1. We have style guides located in the ready reference collection across from the laptop bar
  2. Under Research Guides, you can search for Citation Styles (show them)
  3. You can make an appointment with the Writing Center (and provide them with the contact information)

The second is a tool for organizing your research. The team coordinators would like you learn how to use one of them. Alfred is our resident expert on Zotero. For the patrons, tell them that under Research Guides, they can search for Citation Managers (and show them). Citation Managers

Email, Reference Account

Navigating to / setting up access:

When emailing patrons, never use your personal email. Instead use the reference email that can be accessed through your UND email account. 


Step 1: Click on the user icon on the top right of your UND outlook account and click "open another mailbox"


Step 2: A pop-up box will appear. Search for "reference" and click on the reference email in the drop-down menu


Step 3: Finally, you should be presented with the reference email account where you can send emails to patrons

Using Reference Email

The Reference Inbox is a shared inbox. Everyone with access can manage the account (read/send/delete messages). There is only one copy of any given message it receives; if one person deletes a message, it's gone for everybody.

  • When you compose a new message in the Reference Inbox, you want to make sure that the FROM is set to UND Reference vs your personal email. If you don't see the UND Reference email in the From field at the top of your message:
    • Choose Options > From
    • Click From in the message, and change to the shared email address. If you don't see your shared email address, choose Other email address and then type in

    • Choose OK.

    • Finish typing your message and then choose Send

    • From now on when you want to send a message from your shared mailbox, the address will be available in your From drop down list

Check the reference e-mail at least once during your shift. Move opened items to one of these folders (do not leave opened emails in the Inbox):

Finished Requests

  • When finished with your response, it is recommended to “sign” your name, although you can use a more generic .signature. The patron may e-mail again and the reference librarian on duty will know whom to forward the e-mail.
  • After answering an e-mail question, move the e-mail question to “FINISHED REQUESTS”
  • Log into LibStats.

In Process Requests

  • A reference e-mail should not be left “open” in the in-box. If the question cannot be answered in a timely manner but you're working on it, move it there.

Referred Requests

  • A reference e-mail should not be left “open” in the in-box, after forwarding the e-mail question to the appropriate librarian/department, move the e-mail to the "referred requests" folder.
  • If you are unable to answer an e-mail (subject expertise needed, etc), but another librarian can, forward the e-mail to that librarian. Patent/Trademark questions should be referred to
  • If you are unable to answer an email, but another CFL staff member can, forward the e-mail to the following, with a CC: to 
    • Genealogy, regional obituaries, North Dakota materials, UND history, etc., refer to
    • Interlibrary loan questions refer to
    • Question concerning overdue books, renewals, etc. refer to
    • Administrative matters (staff, room booking) refer to
    • Computer or login issues, look here

EZProxy lockouts

You may answer a chat from a patron who is locked out of their CFL account, and you can fix this problem for them!

Library Account Lockouts: Information

  • Sometimes you may be contacted by a patron who is locked out of their account. Here are some sample questions you may receive:
    • Hello, I am unable to log into the system to access journal articles. 
    • It keeps telling me my login process has failed, how do I sign in.
    • I can't log into my library account. Can you help? 
  • Patrons cannot gain access to their account for many reasons, including:
    • Too many attempts to login
    • Affiliated with the medical school
    • Insufficient Permissions
      • Not currently enrolled in classes
      • Enroll anytime students have weird access
    • Their account has expired
  • Note: If a patron cannot access their account, discover the reason and, if appropriate, then send them a resource. Sending them a PDF or other resource when they do not have access to their account should be a last resort and only done if the problem is known but cannot be immediately resolved. 

These two links will help you troubleshoot EZproxy issues and will show you how to clear login attempts on an account that is causing the lockout.

Check with Karlene to make sure she notified DISS that you have permission set up to do this


What to do if a patron is locked out of their account:

  1. Clarify that they are trying to access their library account and not their email or other campus system.
    • If library: Move to Step 2
    • If email or other campus system: Refer to UIT
  2. Clarify that they're just trying to login to their account, and are not unable to access a specific resource.
    • If they are trying to access a specific resource but have access to their account: identify the resource and evaluate further (refer to librarian if necessary)
    • If they are just trying to login: Move to Step 4
  3.  Ask: Have you received a message that you have been logged out due to too attempts to login?
    • If yes: Follow the EZ proxy instructions
    • If no: Move to Step 4
  4. Ask: Are you able to login to Blackboard?
    • If yes: Move to Step 5
    • If no: Verify that they have entered their password correctly, have them type it where they can see it and copy paste. They can try changing their password to resynchronize access across the campus system 
  5. Ask: What is your program of study?
  6. Ask: Are you currently enrolled in classes?
    • If yes: Move to Step 7
    • If no (usually grad students): Inform patron that they will have access to their library account once they register for classes
  7. Ask: About how long has it been since you have logged in or checked out a resource from the library?
    • If it has been awhile: Their account may have expired
    • If they have done so recently: There may be a technical issue 
    • IN EITHER CASE: Inform the patron that you will email CFL systems and that they will be in touch.
  8. After: email with a to with the patron's name and situation

How to use EZ-proxy to clear a patron:

  1. Navigate to the library website
  2. Under logins at the top of the page, select "Staff Portal"
  3. Scroll down and select "EZproxy Admin"
  4. Login with your und credentials
  5. Navigate to the "View and Clear Intrusion Attempts" page 
  6. Ask the patron if the error message includes their IP address and have them read it to you
  7. Check the box in front of the correct IP address 
  8. Ask for the patron's first and last name and make sure to check that box if their name shows up as well
  9. You do not need to do any identity verification, simply click on "Clear checked intrusions"
  10. Instruct patron to refresh their page and attempt logging in again
  11. If they are still unable to login, email with a to with the patron's name and situation


  1. Bookmark LibAnswers: Dashboard for easy access.
  2. Brittany Fischer will provide you with a login once you reach this assignment.

How it Works

  • When you hear a high pitched ding, that's your cue there's a call!
    • While in training, you will want to screen share with your on-call librarian
  • Your screen should look like this in the top left corner.
  • It's okay if you feel nervous! We all did the first few times we did chats.
    • We'll try to be nearby to help you accept it.
    • If you'd like to do a practice chat, Brittany or Karlene can help organize that ahead of time.
  • Once you accept the chat, say hello and let the patron know you are reading the question
    • This will also give you time to share your screen with your buddy librarian!
    • Use the "canned messages" at the bottom of the screen.
  • Make sure to clarify if the person is a UND affiliate if they are using a personal email account
    • You can do this by clicking on the Patron Information tab that pops up when you take a chat. There you can see the type of patron they are (Faculty, Undergraduate Student, Grad Student, etc.) and if they are UND affiliated

How to Set Up LibAnswers Zoom

  1. Step One: Navigate to the LibAnswers Dashboard
    • Log in to Libapps with your username and password
    • From the drop down menu on the top left of the screen, navigate to LibAnswers
  2. Step Two: Navigate to Your Profile
    • Click on your email and user icon in the upper right-hand side of the page
    • You should see "Manage Account" at the top of the landing page after selecting your email
  3. Step Three: Authorize the Zoom Feature
    • Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page
    • Identify and select the "Authorize Zoom" button
    • The Zoom website should open and prompt you to sign in
  4. Step Four: Log in to Zoom
    • Below "Or sign in with," select the box labeled "SSO" with the key icon
    • Enter "und" when prompted to enter your company domain
    • Log in with your UND credentials when prompted by the system
    • Allow the zoom features to integrate with chat

Using LibAnswers Zoom

LibAnswers Zoom makes screen sharing with patrons easier as it is built into the chat platform. 

How it works:

  • When chatting with a patron, next to "Canned Messages" there will now be a button labeled "Request Screenshare"
  • The "Request Screenshare" button sends the patron a request for a zoom meeting

  • After selecting "Request Screenshare" a green "Launch" button will appear in the chat
  • To launch and host the zoom meeting with the patron, select "Launch" 
  • The patron will receive a link to the zoom as well as instructions on how to access it
  • Please note that the zoom will open separately from the chat, on your personal account
  • You may need to let the patron into the zoom or disable the waiting room in order for them to join


Every PRC needs to have a starfish account so students can make appointments to see you.

  1. Email Kristen with your full name and student ID number.  Kristen will set up the account for us.
  2. The PRC can edit their title to Peer Research Consultant in his/her Institutional Profile (Main Menu, click on name, Edit Profile, and scroll to Title). 
  3. The manual is located at the bottom of this box.

Starfish will pull your cell phone number from HRMS and make it public in your Starfish page so be sure to go into your Starfish Profile and remove your cell number. 

How to remove your number: 

  1. Click the three lines at the top left of the screen
  2. Click your name so a drop down appears
  3. Click edit Profile
  4. Scroll down and delete phone number
  5. Enter the Ask us phone number instead 701-777-4629

Directions on how to Sync Starfish to your Outlook:

  1. Click the 3 lines at the top left of the screen
  2. Click your name so a dropdown menu appears
  3. click Appointment Preferences
  4. Scroll down to calendar sync
  5. Make sure the boxes that are labeled "appointment change" and "Change to my office hours and group sessions" are clicked

Setting up your schedule:

You will want to make yourself accessible to students looking to make appointments with you for the hours you are working.

  1. Click the 3 lines at the top left corner of the screen
  2. Click appointments, then by week
  3. At the top left of the screen, click the button that says "Office Hours"
  4. Then fill in the information. (you might need to submit this form multiple times if you do not work the same schedule day to day)
  5. At the bottom of this form there is a button labeled "Start/End Date"
    1. Click the end date and choose "end of term" then select the correct semester
  6. You will need to add your new schedule in each semester
  7. If your schedule changes or you are not going to be in at your regular shift, go into starfish and cancel the possible appointment slots for the times you will be gone

         **Remember: when creating your schedule, give yourself some time to get settled in and don't have appointments go till the last minute you are there. Build that time when setting up your office hours**

Creating a Starfish Link

  1. To do this, login to your profile in Starfish
  2. In your profile, you will see two boxes under the Share Links section: 
    • LINK TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ME  This link will send students directly to your calendar after they have signed in to Starfish.
    • You will see an option to COPY LINK TO CLIPBOARD. This will allow you to copy and paste this into email messages
  3. Send this link to Rebecca Brown so that she can put it on the PRC appointment page on the library website

Checking to see that the setup is correct

  1. Ask another student to log into Starfish, look for your name and see if they can schedule an appointment with you
  2. Make sure the available hours for appointments matches your schedule
  3. Notice the email notification you get in Outlook and practice answering them 
  4. Make sure you're not seeing people's grades or courses, none of us at the library have that level of access

Cancelling appointments:

  1. Go to the Appointments tab
  2. Click on the tiny tab on the left side of the student's name
  3. At the bottom of the pop-up, click "cancel"
  4. This will cancel the appointment but will not notify the student so you will need to email the student that the appointment is cancelled. You can find their email in the information when you click on their name in the appointments calendar

Your starfish is going to look a little different now that you are a PRC. However, to get to your normal student homepage, simply click "My success Network" and it will bring up the page with your teachers and advisors.


  • Kristen and Sally will receive a referral notification when a student is referred to a Chester Fritz Reference Librarian. We like to have more than one individual receive the initial email in the event of vacations, etc.
  • Kristen and Sally then have the ability to assign the referral to another reference librarian.
  • Others in the Chester Fritz Reference Librarian role will see the referral in Starfish but you don’t need to do anything with it unless Kristen and Sally assign it to you. In this case, you will receive an email.
  • Students are informed that they will be contacted via email or by phone within one business day. They are also encouraged to schedule an appointment in Starfish.

Clearing the Referral

  • The referral should be cleared when:
    • The student comes in OR
    • Contact has been made with the student but they don’t come in OR
    • Multiple attempts have been made to contact the students with no result
  • If you are assigned a student in a referral from Kristen or Sally, once you meet with the student, clear the tracking item:


Once an Appointment is Done

  • Just like libchats, we want clear and accurate data on our starfish appointments 
  • Follow the steps below to document every appointment you have with students



Use Libstats to record these interactions at the knowledge commons:

  • In person, email, phone, research appointment
  • Any followup interaction done outside of LibAnswers chat 

Training on using LibStats

  • Read the document below for guidance
  • Test your knowledge with this quiz (opens in new window)

Use LibAnswers to record chat interactions, they DO NOT also need to be recorded in LibStats

  • Tags (PRC one always, others as needed)
  • Add to Analytics