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Music Library: Reference Services

When is Reference Service Available?

Reference service is available ANY TIME a full-time staff member is present and available in the Music Library, which during the Fall and Spring semesters, is generally Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Hours may be different during the Summer semester. Go to the service desk and ask for a full-time staff member (Kate or Sarah) to assist you with a reference question.

If you come to the Music Library when full-time staff is not available, our student staff will take your information and refer you to the Music Librarian for further assistance.

You may also ask a question or make an appointment with the Music Librarian by email or by calling (815) 753-9839.

General questions can be directed to (815)753-1426, or

Music Library Reference Service

Professional librarians, who are members of the University faculty, assisted by library operating staff, provide reference and information service to members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and community members.


As the Music subject specialist librarian for the NIU Libraries, Sarah Holmes can help you find the information, book, article, or resource that you seek! Need help with your search strategies? Can't find anything on your topic, or need assistance refining that paper topic? Don't know where to start? Come see the Music Librarian!


Kate Swope, Senior Music Library Specialist is also here to help!  With her music training and her high level of musicianship, she has the knowledge to assist you with your library needs. 

Have a question and don't know who to ask?  Email

What Can Reference Service Do For Me?

Our professional librarians can help you find information such as:

  • Identification and location of books, scores, sheet music, recordings, and other items in the NIU Libraries
  • How to use Interlibrary-Loan and I-Share
  • Translations and pronunciation guides for vocal music
  • Identification and location of periodical articles, online and in print
  • Proper citation styles for academic papers
  • Answers to questions about musical works, composers, musicians, musical instruments, and other topics
  • Analysis of musical works
  • Many other topics!

Music Librarian

Sarah Holmes's picture
Sarah Holmes
Music Building 175

Senior Music Library Specialist

Kate Swope's picture
Kate Swope
Music Building 175