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Need Help? Ask Us!: PAWS -- Personalized Assistance With Searching

Consult with a librarian and save time.

What is PAWS?

PAWS (or Personalized Assistance With Searching) is a way for you to get help from a librarian when you need it. Whether you're working on a short paper, a semester-long project, or another type of research, meeting with a librarian can help open doors to new and different sources for you.

A 30-minute appointment with a librarian is available to Bluffton students, faculty, and staff.

We can help with the following:

  • Provide research assistance and guidance.
  • Suggest specific databases for you to try.
  • Offer help with search terms (words and phrases) that can get better results.
  • Help devise search strategies and provide search tips.
  • Suggest sources from other libraries (OhioLINK, SearchOHIO, and other libraries outside Ohio).

Click here to make a PAWS appointment. Meetings will usually be held in a librarian's office. After you submit the request form, we'll be in touch with a confirmation and the meeting location.

Preparing for your PAWS Appointment

To get the most out of your PAWS appointment, you might spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to accomplish during your time with the librarian.

To help with this (and this is optional), you can print off and fill out the document below, and then bring it to your appointment.

Faculty teaching with PAWS

Faculty interested in requiring PAWS for each student in a class are asked to make advance arrangements with the library.   In some circumstances, an instruction session for the class may be more suited.   


The PAWS concept was borrowed with permission from the University Libraries at the University of Albany, State University of New York. We used and also adapted freely from their website. We thank them for their generosity.