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Virtual Reference Services: About

How to ask librarians questions via Chat Reference, Email, and Virtual Reference

LSC-North Harris Library Virtual Reference Logo

About Virtual Reference

Even though you can't come to the library, there are many ways we can still help you with your reference needs! Whether it's research, citation, or you just need help accessing a database, we're here to help you!

Here are a few of the things we can help you with:

  • Research - constructing a search strategy, finding articles and books, using library database, and locating primary sources.
  • Citation - preparing your Works Cited or Bibliography, citing quotes, and formatting relating to MLA, APA, and Chicago Style Manuals.
  • Evaluation -  is this a reliable source? Is the information presented timely and accurate?
  • Technical Issues with Library Resource - Having trouble accessing a library database or electronic book? We can help you out with that.

While our librarians know a lot of stuff, there are a few things we can't help you with:

  • Questions about how the Coronavirus Outbreak will affect your class - for information about Lone Star College's response, please visit For specific information about your class, email your professor.
  • Questions about Registration, Tuition, Class Schedule - Please visit Student Services at Are you having trouble accessing your online classes? Call the OTS Help Desk at 832-813-6600 or toll free at 866-614-5014.
  • Need to buy a textbook? Some professors may put a copy of a textbook need for a class in the library on reserve, but these textbooks can only be used in the library. For information about purchasing or renting a textbook that you can take home with you or a digital copy, contact the campus bookstore. Visit for more information.
  • Legal Advice - Librarians are not licensed lawyers and cannot provide legal advice.
  • Medical Advice - Librarians are not licensed medical professionals and cannot provide medical advice. If you are in need of emergency medical attention, call 911. For less serious issues, contact your doctor. For mental health resources, visit

These services are for current Lone Star College Students, Faculty, and Staff. By using any of these services, you agree to these Terms and Conditions.

Chat Reference

Chat Reference Logo

Have a quick question like "How do I cite an article?" or "What database should I use?" or need to report a technical issue like a database not working, try Chat Reference. This service works a lot like many popular messaging services: chat via text messages with a librarian in real time. This service is staffed by librarians throughout the Lone Star College System during the following times:

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 6pm

Friday: 9am - 3pm

This service requires a modern web browser like Firefox, Chrome, or Edge.


Email Reference Logo

Have a more complicate question? Perhaps you need help developing a search strategy or you've tried several databases and you are still having trouble finding articles on your subject? Send an email to Hold on your account? Question about a book due date or late book fine? You can email these questions to the Library Circulation Department at Make sure to explain your issue in detail and a librarian from LSC-North Harris Library will reply to you with detailed instructions to help you with your problem.


Emails sent during the following times will usually get a reply within 30 minutes:

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 8pm

Friday: 9am - 3pm

Emails sent outside those times will be replied to the next day.


To use this service, you need an email account. You can use your myLoneStar email or a personal email account like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail.

Virtual Reference

Virtual Reference Logo

Have you tried Chat Reference and Email Reference and are still having trouble? Maybe you need someone to guide you through using a database or you'd like a librarian to review your works cited page? Try scheduling a Virtual Reference Appointment. Using special software, librarians can walk you through accessing various library services, providing instruction via audio while showing you by sharing images from their computer. This service is available during the following times:

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 8pm

Friday: 9am - 3pm

Appointments must be made at least 1 hour in advance. This service is for current students of Lone Star College. You must provide your myLoneStar email address when making an appointment. Because this service uses video and audio, you must have a stable, high-speed internet connection and a computer equipped with a microphone.