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SMC|Academic Affairs|Library|Email Reference Service Policy

Email Reference Service Policy

E-Mail Reference service is provided by reference librarians and staff of Santa Monica College Library, and is currently available to students, faculty, administrators, and staff of SMC.

Questions from outside the SMC community are answered as time and resources permit.

Service Guidelines:

  • If you have a complicated question or need detailed research assistance, please come to the reference desk of the Library during our hours of operation
  • E-mail reference advises on starting points for research, through suggestions about search tactics and about potentially helpful print or electronic resources.
  • Users will be referred when possible to print, electronic, or other resources of SMC Library¬† that may provide them with needed information.
Types of E-Mail Questions Answered:
  • Queries on where to begin research on a topic
  • Requests for suggestions for further resources on a topic, after your initial research
  • Inquiries seeking clarification of information found on our Library home page
  • Questions about Library facilities and services
Some Types of Questions the Library Does Not Answer:
  • The Library does not interpret assignments or other materials.
  • No medical or legal advice is given.
  • For questions requiring longer or in-depth research, users should come into the Library to obtain reference assistance.
Turn-Around Time for E-Mail Reference:
  • The Library will try to respond to e-mail requests within forty-eight weekday hours, but response time may vary, depending on the nature of your question.
  • Questions received during the weekend or holidays will be treated as if received on the first weekday that the Library reopens for service.
  • The Library responds to e-mail queries only when College classes are in session; no service is offered on holidays or during other periods when the campus or the Library may be closed.
Please note:


If you need more information about SMC Library's E-Mail Reference Service, please contact the Reference Desk at (310) 434-4254.

Portions adopted from UC Irvine and Cal State Los Angeles  Libraries' e-reference pages.