Research and Learning Services

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The Research and Learning Services Department (RLS) unifies the functions and services formerly provided by the Academic Liaison Services, Reference, and Government & Geographic Information & Data Services Departments. The RLS Department organizes and provides a suite of services to the Northwestern community, including:

•       Information on materials accessibility
•       Research assistance & consultations, for both specialized & general information needs
•       Data and geospatial services
•       Customized services for different disciplines and interdisciplinary groups
•       Government information and documents

Members of the RLS Department help to ensure the development and promotion of the Northwestern University Library’s collections and services. The Department delivers research services, programmatic offerings and niche services, including support for GIS and data-intensive scholarship as well as expanded support for the social sciences, humanities and select area studies. RLS librarians develop library collections in all formats, with a focus on the general collections and specific area studies, and provide outreach to individual units and departments on the Northwestern campus, in the broader Evanston and surrounding communities, and to all Northwestern populations, no matter where their location.

Contact a subject specialist. To identify a librarian who can help with topics or programs that might not be covered by a subject specialist, contact the Library’s disciplinary coordinators.

Visit Research and Learning Services (RLS) at our main location on the 2nd floor, East Tower of the Main Library.

For more information, e-mail

Guide to Reference Materials