New from ACRL - “How to Be a Peer Research Consultant”

For Immediate Release
Wed, 01/12/2022


Erin Nevius

Content Strategist


CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “How to Be a Peer Research Consultant: A Guide for Librarians and Students” by Maglen Epstein and Bridget Draxler, a concise guide for librarians and students on developing and teaching research skills and fostering these peer-to-peer relationships. 

Every student brings their own individual set of educational and personal experiences to a research project, and peer research consultants are uniquely able to reveal this “hidden curriculum” to the researchers they assist. In seven highly readable chapters, "How to Be a Peer Research Consultant" provides focused support for anyone preparing undergraduate students to serve as peer research consultants, whether you refer to these student workers as research tutors, reference assistants, or research helpers. 

Inside you’ll find valuable training material to help student researchers develop metacognitive, transferable research skills and habits, as well as foundational topics like what research looks like in different disciplines, professionalism and privacy, ethics, the research process, inclusive research consultations, and common research assignments. It concludes with an appendix containing 30 activities, discussion questions, and written reflection prompts to complement the content covered in each chapter, designed to be easily printed or copied from the book.

"How to Be a Peer Research Consultant" can be read in its entirety to gather ideas and activities, or it can be distributed to each student as a training manual. It pays particular attention to the peer research consultant-student relationship and offers guidance on flexible approaches for supporting a wide range of research needs. The book is intended to be useful in a variety of higher education settings and is designed to be applicable to each institution’s unique library resources and holdings. Through mentoring and coaching, undergraduate students can feel confident in their ability to help their peers with research and may be inspired to continue this work as professional librarians in the future. 

“How to Be a Peer Research Consultant: A Guide for Librarians and Students" is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store; in print through; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers. 


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. Representing nearly 9,000 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and creating diverse and inclusive communities. Find ACRL on the webFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube