Search Bar Services

The Search Bar offers a suite of peer-to-peer undergraduate student services in Sidewater Commons, located on the first floor of Pattee Library. These services are designed for peers to assist their fellow students toward academic success. The Search Bar is a collaboration between the University Libraries, Penn State Learning, and Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology.

The Search Bar is open when classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters. We do not offer any hours during the summer. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our services will be offered separately online until further notice.


Peer Research Consultants

Peer Research Consultants help other Penn State students conduct research and use library resources. Students can receive assistance with:

  • Choosing or narrowing down a topic
  • Writing a research question
  • Finding and evaluating information sources
  • Learning more about navigating the Libraries’ website

If needed, students may be referred to the appropriate library subject specialist or service for more advanced assistance.

Hours:  Monday -Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. & Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; summer hours not available.

To enter our Zoom room, users must be authenticated Penn State students or affiliates.

To connect with a Peer Research Consultant (no appointment required), please click on the button below. If you need help with Zoom, visit Penn State's Zoom support page.


Writing Tutors

Writing tutors are experts at talking about writing and the writing process. Simply stated, they listen to and ask questions to help students express themselves clearly in their writing. Students can receive assistance with:

  • Identifying places for improvement
  • Discussing questions or concerns about projects 
  • Providing proof of tutoring sessions (if requested)

Peer Writing tutors will not edit or write assignments for students, predict grades for papers, or fill out peer review worksheets.

Connect with a Writing Tutor (appointment required) and view their hours.


Tech Tutors

Tech Tutors help with course assignments requiring technology. They provide training on learning management systems used in the classroom, as well as software and web-based application tools. Students can receive assistance with:

  • Formatting Word, Excel, and other Microsoft Office documents
  • Editing photos with Adobe Photoshop
  • Formatting WordPress/Blog sites and posts
  • Using remote learning applications, like Zoom and Canvas

Connect with a Tech Tutor (no appointment required) and view their hours.

General inquiries should be directed to Search Bar staff at