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 and Penn State Learning.

The Search Bar is open when classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters. Peer Research Consultations offer walk-in consultations (no appointments required) and Writing Tutors offer appointment and walk-in tutorials. Appointments with a Writing Tutor can be made through Starfish.


Effective August 27, 2023:

Sun.:  6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Mon. - Thurs.:  10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Fri.:  10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


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.

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.

General inquiries should be directed to Search Bar staff at