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Peer Research Consultants

Training and information for PRCs

Navigating to Reference Email

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.
  • If the subject includes genealogy, regional obituaries, North Dakota materials, UND history, etc., forward those e-mail questions to
  • Interlibrary loan questions refer to
  • Question concerning overdue books, renewals, etc. refer to
  • Administrative matters refer to
  • Patent/Trademark questions should be referred to