Monthly Archives: January 2014

Internet Browsers Are Not All Created Equal

Most of us have our “default” browser: the application we always head to when searching the internet for fun, or doing research, and even using library databases. However, did you know that some products may not function the same across all browsers? Some companies optimize their products to work best in a certain browser; you may also find that products display differently, or that you have trouble with the features of a database, depending on the browser you use.


How can you tell which browser to pick? Often, the database will tell you. For instance, JSTOR’s help pages tell you which browsers have been tested for JSTOR compatibility:



The same help pages may also provide you with additional information about what you’ll need to make sure a database performs at its best. Here, you can see that Academic Search Premier reminds users that they’ll need to have JavaScript and Cookies for all pages to function normally, and that Internet Explorer 8 users need to make a change to their viewing preferences:

Browser Requirements



If you want to find information about the optimal browsers for your “go-to” database, generally, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to the “Help” page for your chosen Database
  • Look for a link to “system requirements”; this page will often have information on “Supported Browsers,” “Browser Requirements” or “Recommendations for Optimal Performance”
  • If you don’t see links to this information, try searching for “supported browsers” within the help pages


If you’re having trouble with a particular database, a good first step is always to try a different browser. If that doesn’t work, give us a call! You can call the Reference Librarians at 508.565.1203, email us at, or find us online via LibChat (visit our LibGuides page and look for the green “Ask Us” button).


One final note: remember that when you’re using databases on your smart phone or tablet, there may be other factors that affect a browser’s performance. Stay tuned for a post on how to make the most of your tablet or smartphone for database searching!

Go On a Blind Date … with a Book

Go on a blind date with a  book this February.

Go on a blind date with a book this February.

This February, why not go on a blind date with a book? You could discover your new favorite book, or just find something fun to read. And if it doesn’t work out, we have a lot more options to choose from!

Your librarians picked a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, even a little poetry, and a range of new publications and old classics. We’ve wrapped them all, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you’ve checked the book out (that’s the blind date part). However, to give you a sense what you’re picking, we’ve written a few helpful keywords on each one. Some books just have their genre (“nonfiction”) while others might have a little more information (“knights,” “adventure”). You get to decide how open you are to an unexpected new story.

So visit us this February for your own blind date with a book; you never know, you might find that perfect book!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr

Each year, we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a Federal Holiday. MLK, Jr. was born on January 15th, and so the third Monday of January each month has been designated a holiday in his honor, to recognize his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. More recently, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been emphasized as a Day of Service. This tradition began in 1994, when President Clinton signed the King Holiday and Service Act.

If you’re interested in reading more about Martin Luther King, Jr., the Federal Holiday named after him, or the history of the King Holiday and Service Act, the Library has a number of resources to get you started:


If you are interested in searching for other materials in the library about MLK, Jr., we recommend trying search terms such as:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Civil Rights Movements

  • African Americans, History

  • Nonviolence

  • Coretta Scott King

  • Racism, United States

  • United States, Race Relations

And if you need help locating resources in the stacks, or finding the books, films, or government documents in which you are interested, you can always visit us at the Reference Desk, call us at 508-565-1203, or chat with us online using the “Ask Us” tab on the left-hand side of our LibGuides pages.

Books, Kindness, Joy, Quiet, Library-Smell



Students are always studying, writing, and researching in the library. You might think that would make it a tense and stressful environment, but it’s just the opposite. Like this Six-Word-Story author mentions, it’s a joyful place thanks to the friendly library staff! Whether you’re checking out materials at the Circulation Desk or getting research help from a reference librarian, you’re sure to be greeted with a smile. It makes your time here fun and rewarding; not only are you making the most of our resources, but you’re also making wonderful personal connections. Set up a one-on-one research consultation, or just stop by to say hi! Knowing there are great people ready to assist you makes for a great library experience!

LibAnswers: Your Local Knowledge Base

What is a knowledge base? Our knowledge base, LibAnswers, is a local database built and maintained by the Library’s Reference team. Here, we record answers to common questions about everything from the Library’s collections, our databases, accessing technology, printer problems, to “Where are the bathrooms?”  LibAnswers is a searchable database where you can enter keywords (i.e. “printers”) or full questions (i.e. “How do I sign up for RefWorks?) to find answers to your questions.

When you visit the LibAnswers page, here’s what you’ll see: