Getting Started - By Students, For Students: Home

A brief introduction to researching at the library created by GVSU Peer Research Consultants.

About the Peer Research Consultants

This guide was created by students for students.


The creators are all Peer Research Consultants who work in the Knowledge Market at the GVSU libraries. We are highly trained in library research and can help you with any of the following:

  • Choose a topic

  • Plan your approach to finding sources

  • Find books, journal articles, news, videos, images, primary sources, government documents, and more

  • Evaluate sources for relevance and reliability

  • Request sources from other libraries

  • Show you several ways to search the library collection

  • Talk through the entire process of doing library research with a friendly student who can help

More about us:

Peer Research Consultants in the Mary Idema Pew Library and Steelcase Library are Grand Valley students who are trained in many aspects of library research.The research consultants are skilled in navigating the Grand Valley State University databases, refining search terms, brainstorming topic ideas, and evaluating resources.

The peer research consultants have specialized areas within their major that they are knowledgeable in if you would like to work with a consultant who is familiar with a specific topic. Check out the consultant bios here! However, all research consultants also are trained to assist students in any field of study and are prepared to help students find a variety research sources.

Students have the option of scheduling a standard 30 minute consultation with one of the Peer Research Consultants. If you feel as though you would like more time working with the consultant, you may schedule an hour long consultation.

Before coming to your consultation, try to have specific questions in mind - this helps the consultant understand where you are in your assignment and allows the appointment to go more efficiently. Questions and/or identifying what you would like help with may include asking for clarification about the assignment, a desire to brainstorm topic ideas, requesting assistance with key work selection, or understanding what types of articles would be most beneficial for the purposes of the assignment.

The consultant will be able to assist you in all of these areas, and help you to become more comfortable with navigating the Grand Valley databases. 

What to expect at your appointment

This photo guide will give you a glimpse of what to expect at your consultation in the Knowledge Market.

Please bring (or have access to on a computer) your assignment sheet and any materials or work you have already done on your project. (Note: It is completely fine to have not started your assignment yet, we can still help no matter what stage you are in!)

  1. 1. Arrival

    When you arrive, please check in at the front desk in the Knowledge Market (this is on the first floor directly across from the service desk).

    You will be asked to check in for your consultation on the computer.

    Photograph of a Peer Research Consultant checking a student in
  2. 2. Introduction

    Next, you will be introduced to your consultant.

    Photograph of a Peer Research Consultant greeting a student
  3. 3. Consultation

    You will then sit down at one of our reserved tables for your 30 or 60 minute consultation.

    Peer Research Consultant during a consultation with a student
  4. 4. End of session

    At the end of the consultation you will fill out session notes and be asked to take a short survey about your experience.

    Thanks for visiting the Knowledge Market!

    Peer Research Consultants together with student after consultation

About the Knowledge Market

 Library research is just one of three specialized services available in the Knowledge Market.

 The Knowledge Market in the Mary Idema Pew Library

Consultants in the Knowledge Market can help with researching, writing, and presenting your class projects. We have consultants from the Writing Center, the Speech Lab, and the Library all working together to provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and get feedback on projects and assignments. You can meet with one, two, or all three services.

Check to see times and locations and to make an appointment with any of the three services.