Libraries' student-run Search Bar and course focus on peer assistance, learning

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With midterms approaching, Penn State University LibrariesSearch Bar is ready to assist students with assignments, tech issues, source-gathering and more. For those students interested in becoming peer-to-peer tutors or research assistants, LST250: Peer Tutoring in Research offers a deep dive into the research process.  

Though it’s physical location, in Pattee Library’s Sidewater Commons, is currently closed, the Search Bar continues to offer a suite of peer-to-peer undergraduate student services in collaboration with the University Libraries, Penn State Learning and Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology.

“The goal of the Search Bar, and all of the services in it, is to provide a one-stop shop for the students and patrons who visit that is ready to answer their research, writing or technical questions in a way that is both informative and comfortable” said Eleanor Smith, a Penn State senior and peer research consultant for the Search Bar.  

Currently offered in a virtual format via Zoom, the Search Bar offers peer research consulting, writing tutors and tech tutors designed to assist students toward academic success. Options include finding and evaluating sources, reviewing writing assignments and assistance with tech issues such as formatting and Zoom, and more.   

Accessing the virtual Search Bar is easy! Visit our webpage and click on the blue “connect with us!” button during hours of operation, for instant help. Online hours of operation for fall 2020 are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, closed during Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

For students who are interested in the peer research process, preparing for future undergraduate research experience or have career aspirations in the library information science field, LST250: Peer Tutoring in Research, taught in spring 2021 via Zoom (course number 19941), offers research-based coursework. Students enrolled in LST250 can expect to learn:

·      How to critically think about, find, evaluate, use and produce information.

·      Skills needed to explain to and teach others about the research process.

·      How to be savvy users of library resources.

·      How the research process is iterative, collaborative and fun!

For more information about LST250 classes, questions about enrollment, or scheduling, contact course instructors Hailley Fargo at or Claire Salvati at

For Search Bar hours of operation and a description of services, visit For assistance and general inquiries, contact Search Bar staff at

Last Updated October 16, 2020