If the student is interested in or required to work with primary sources, do they have a good understanding of what makes such sources distinct?
Would the student benefit from working with primary sources in archives or special collections?
Has the student spent much time using Tripod?
If not it’s worthwhile to integrate some demonstrations of the catalog as you meet the student’s immediate information need.
Has the student developed a research question that is relevant to the field they are working in? Can the question be answered within the parameters (e.g. page-length) set by their professors? How can they develop their question further?
When discussing a student’s research question it’s important to try to discern what is actually possible for the student to achieve given the constraints they are working within (i.e. when the paper is due; how much time they can devote to it; the research and scholarly skills they possess)
What databases is the student familiar with? What databases would it be helpful for them to know about?
If the student does not have much familiarity with database research it’s worthwhile to talk through the steps you take as you search for relevant materials on their behalf.
Does the student have a sense of what are the important scholarly journals in his or her field?
Does the student have an understanding of the scholarly process (e.g. building on the work of other scholars)?
Is there a professor or another librarian (whether at Haverford or beyond) with whom it would be beneficial for the student to meet?
Does the student have experience in evaluating scholarship in terms of relevance, currency, reliability and disciplinary approach?
Does the student possess knowledge of the contexts relevant to his or her research question?
If not, the librarian can show the student handbooks, literature reviews and other publications which provide pertinent background.
Is the student familiar with theory that’s pertinent to his or her research question?
Are there any copyright issues related to the student’s project?