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Research Help: Reference and Research Librarians

Meet Karen Niemla

Hello Students!

Hi there, I'm Karen Niemla, the Reference and Research Librarian at the Hammermill Library. I conduct all and information literacy instruction at the library, and I answer reference questions about the library. If you need help finding resources for a class research project, navigating one of our databases, citing sources, or anything else, you can contact us librarians here or email me at We can even schedule a time to meet in person at my office.

Hello Faculty & Instructors!

Perhaps most of your students grew up with the Internet, but that doesn't mean that they have academic research skills. You don't have to teach that yourself, though: I would love to teach your students about the research process! How much I can cover and in what detail depends on how much class time we have, and I'll always work with you beforehand to make sure I can meet your needs. If your class can't meet with me in person, I can make online video tutorials or arrange a teleconference.


Topics I can cover include:

  • Using the Library
  • How to evaluate resources
  • How to find scholarly / Peer-Reviewed resources
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • How to cite resources
  • Navigating particular databases
  • And more!

Email me at or our online request form to schedule a class. Also contact me if you have any questions about the library and our resources, and as with students, you may certainly contact me for help with your research.

Information Literacy

Are you faculty?
To schedule an information literacy instruction session for your class, contact us here, or ask a librarian for more details.


Information Literacy is the broad ability to understand where information comes from, how to find it, what value different information resources may have respectively, and how to use information to produce new ideas. Being information literate means being able to:

  • decide how large or small the focus of a research project should be
  • identify authoritative resources, and understand different kids of authority
  • locate resources in a variety of formats
  • effectively use research tools
  • properly cite resources
  • produce new, original information

Additionally, your attitude is also as much part of Information Literacy as your skills are. Hard work, persistence, creativity are key to the research process, and being able to recognize your limitations and ask for help is an asset, not a shortcoming. To learn more about Information Literacy, see the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education from The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL).

Reference and Research Librarian

Profile Photo
Karen Niemla
222 Hammermill Library
501 E 38th St
Erie PA 16546
(814) 824-3871