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Answers to FAQs

What is e-mail reference?

Minneapolis Community & Technical College Library offers reference service by e-mail. The service will respond to questions typically answered at the reference desk.

Who may use this service?

Our e-mail service is intended primarily for the students, faculty, and staff of the Minneapolis Community & Technical College.

What kinds of questions may I ask?

Questions of any kind may be posed through this service, but it is best suited for assistance with shorter, fact-based questions, access questions and questions pertaining to best resource options or starting points for research.

Reference librarians will not provide direct answers to class assignments, interpret information or provide legal, medical or financial advice. Librarians will suggest tools that are good choices for finding appropriate information, instruct in basic search strategies, and recommend evaluation techniques for assessing information quality.

Patrons with questions requiring more detailed reference assistance may be asked to come to the library or to work individually with a librarian by telephone or instant messaging.

How will the information be delivered?

We will make every attempt to deliver the information to you electronically. The librarians may provide you with a direct answer or you may be sent to a list of sources that you will have to locate on your own. These sources may consist of a list of book titles for which you must come into the MCTC library and locate the books in our collection or in another library, a list of URL's for specific web sites appropriate to your research and/or a list of periodical citations. Whenever possible, we will send you the actual periodical article or a link to the article if available in one of the MCTC library's databases.

Who will answer my question?

Reference librarians at MCTC will answer all e-mail reference questions.


All reference questions are confidential. Please be assured this information will not be shared outside of the MCTC library. For statistical purposes we may keep track of the questions and the number of users but not specific information on users.

How long will it take to get an answer?

We generally respond to questions within 24 hours during the regular work week (Monday-Friday). Questions received on weekends and on holidays may take as long as 72 hours or longer to answer. If you do not get a response within the above time frame, it means that we did not get your e-mail, so please e-mail us again.

Do you need further assistance?

Contact the MCTC Library at 612/659-6298