Remote FAQ

 Find what you need in our searchable FAQ

Can I come to the library to use the computers, print, or check out items?

370 views   |   Last updated on Apr 12, 2021   

As of Sunday, April 4th no in person visits to the library will be permitted, but we are still here for you.

  • Library staff remain available Monday through Thursday, 8am - 8pm, Friday 8am-5pm, and Sunday noon-8pm via phone (413-662-5321) and email (library@mcla.edu).
  • Librarians are available for research help via our Ask Us service, where we can answer questions via chat, email, phone, and text. This service is available Sunday 5pm-10pm, Monday through Thursday 9am-10pm, and Friday 9am-5pm.
  • You can also set up a one-on-one appointment with a librarian via Microsoft Teams, where we can share screens and have the next best thing to an in-person interaction.  
  • If you need reserve readings, fill out the Request for Scanned Course Reading form (we may limit the amount that can be scanned), or call/email the library.

Our Library to Go page is a quick introduction to library collections you can use from off campus, including:

...and more! The full library website will lead you to even more resources.

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How can I get research help from a librarian if I'm off-campus?

337 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

Librarians are available via our Ask Us service, where we can answer questions via chat, email, phone, and text.  You can also set up a one-on-one appointment with a librarian via Microsoft Teams, where we can share screens and have the next best thing to an in-person interaction.  
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I'm trying to use the library databases but I keep getting messages that my account credentials are not correct, or I enter my credentials and then get nothing but a blank screen. How do I fix this?

320 views   |   Last updated on Mar 27, 2020   

This sometimes happens when you are off-campus because every time you authenticate your browser adds another cookie and the amount of cookies has grown over time and exceeded the file size. To fix the problem you will want to use a different browser or clear your cache and cookies. These instructions will show you how to clear you cache.
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How do I set up Google Scholar to use off-campus?

297 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

If you use Google Scholar, you can configure it to have the Check MCLA Full-Text links appear off-campus by changing your Scholar Preferences.

First time off-campus users of Google Scholar should go to the main Google Scholar page and click on the three bars on the upper left hand side of the screen. In the "Library Links" section do a search for MCLA to set up a link to our library. We also recommend you set up a link to "Open WorldCat."  Articles that we own in our databases will then be linked to within your search results in Google.

Step 1:

Menu on upper left hand side of screen

Step 2:

Setting link

Step 3:

add mcla library to access links

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How do I download a book from the Internet Archive or EBSCO so I can read it in Adobe Digital Editions?

286 views   |   Last updated on Apr 06, 2020   

We have step by step instructions on how to download books from the Internet Archive and EBSCO ebooks on our guide to eResources. You can find it here.
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How do I access library resources from off-campus?

259 views   |   Last updated on Mar 24, 2020   

Step 1 Use links on the library web pages.

Links on the library web pages will prompt you to log in with your MCLA A number and password. One successful login establishes access to most MCLA-licensed resources.

Links not obtained from the library web pages will not recognize you as affiliated with MCLA and will not prompt you to login, therefore denying you access. Therefore, always start on library webpages when working remotely.
 

Step 2 (Optional): Configure Google Scholar.

If you use Google Scholar, you can configure it to have the Check MCLA Full-Text links appear off-campus by changing your Scholar Preferences.

First time off-campus users of Google Scholar should go to the main Google Scholar page and click on the "Settings" link on the upper portion of the screen. In the "Library Links" section do a search for MCLA to set up a link to our library. We also recommend you set up a link to "Open WorldCat."  Articles that we own in our databases will then be linked to within your search results in Google.

 

Step 3 (Optional): Get an ecard from the Boston Public Library

BPL eCards are virtual library cards that allow users immediate entry to all of Boston Public Library's remotely-accessible electronic resources, including magazine databases, downloadable audio, video, eBooks, and music.

Students living in Massachusetts while attending school are eligible for a card. Go to the BPL's eCard site to sign up for one.

Save your ecard number and PIN on your computer for quick access

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Can I still request items on Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

257 views   |   Last updated on Mar 24, 2020   

We are no longer fulfilling interlibrary loan requests for books but we are accepting requests for articles. Please note that there may be a delay in getting articles to you and there may be some requests we are unable to fill due to many libraries closing or working with limited staff.
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How do I login to watch a Kanopy movie from off-campus?

256 views   |   Last updated on Apr 01, 2020   

When you get to the Kanopy screen scroll down and click on the red button that says "Login to MCLA." Do not use the login button in the top right corner. That's for if you make an individual account to leave comments or save videos to a bookshelf. The Login for MCLA button will take you to the MCLA login page where you can put in your A number and password. If you have any problems, please contact us.
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Can I borrow a laptop to use for the rest of the semester?

227 views   |   Last updated on Apr 01, 2021   

Yes, the library has a limited number of laptops available for students to take home for the remainder of the semester. Borrowers must complete a new Laptop Lending Agreement. Laptops will be due back at the library after finals are over (May 10th). Please stop by the library to borrow a laptop before you leave campus. The library is open regular hours through Friday, April 2nd. From April 4th onward, you may arrange to pick up or return a laptop by appointment only; contact the library.
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How can I get help with writing my paper?

220 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

For writing feedback and support, take advantage of MCLA’s Writing Studio! Writing Associates can help you at any stage of the writing process: from understanding assignments and brainstorming ideas to planning, revising and polishing final drafts. For more information and to make an appointment, go to the Writing Studio website at www.mcla.edu/writingstudio
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When are library books due?

213 views   |   Last updated on Apr 01, 2021   

Because the MCLA campus will be going to remote learning for the rest of the semester, library books checked out by students after April 4, 2021 will be due May 12, 2021 so that you may bring them home with you.
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How do I sign up for the New York Times?

166 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

Everyone with an mcla.edu email address is now eligible to sign up for a free subscription to the New York Times digital edition (website and/or mobile app)! Just follow these simple directions:

  1. Navigate to accessnyt.com
  2. Search for and select Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. You will be redirected to the NYT registration page. 
  3. Click "Create Account" and complete the form. You must use your @mcla.edu email address​.
  4. Verify your account. You will receive a confirmation email (check your spam folder if you don't see it within a couple of minutes). You must click the link in this email to complete the registration

MCLA's digital subscription includes most nyt.com content, with a few exceptions. 

  • The crossword and e-reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.) editions are not included in MCLA's subscription package.
  • Access to some of the archive (1923-1980) may be limited. (The library does have most of those years on microfilm, which, if you haven't used it before, is a real treat.)

Your MCLA New York Times account WILL work with the NYT Food app.

The NYT in Education website (faculty focused site that includes 16 discipline-specific areas of study, discussion prompts, learning outcomes, Instructional Strategies, and Co-Curricular Activities)  is a separate website and requires its own username/password.  You must register for access (and use your @mcla.edu email address) here: nytimesineducation.com/register

If you experience any issues while activating or using your subscription, please contact the library.

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How do I find out if the library has a particular magazine, journal, or newspaper title?

157 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

You can find out if the library has a particular magazine, journal or newspaper title by using our Publication Finder tool.  Put in the title of the magazine, journal or newspaper you are looking for and do a search. If we have a subscription, you will see a list of databases that we have the title in and the dates of coverage for that title.
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How do I find articles in the library databases?

156 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

For a list of all of our databases, both by subject and by name, visit our Database A-Z list.  For more information on searching the databases, watch the video below.

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I can't find the whole article, just an abstract. How do I get to the full-text?

153 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

Sometimes when you are searching for articles in the library's research databases all you can find is an abstract, not the full-text. If there is no link to the PDF or HTML of the full-text article, look for a button that says "Full Text Finder."It looks like this:full text finder logo

That button will bring you to a page where you can do a search for the item on Google Scholar. Sometimes Google Scholar will find an open access version of the article. Look to the right of the search results for link to full-text in Google Scholar.

If Google Scholar doesn't find the full-text, use the link on the Full Text Finder page to request the item via interlibrary loan. We'll request the article from a library that has it and send it to you as a PDF. This could take a few days, so if you need it right now this isn't a good option.


If you need full-text articles right away, you can go back to your search results and look on the left hand side to choose to limit your search to full-text. In an Ebsco database this shows up under "refine your results." In Gale databases, there is a box that says "only full-text."

Ebsco Gale
Ebsco full-text only Gale full-text only

 

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Does the library offer any tools to create citations and works cited pages?

152 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

The library does not offer a specific tool to create citations. There are many free or for a fee tools out there for individual use, but the library does not endorse a specific one. 

Our Citing Sources Guide has a lot of information on how to cite and where to find examples of citations.

The Perdue OWL site is also a great place to find citation examples and rules.
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What is the difference between a scholarly peer reviewed journal and a popular magazine? How do I find scholarly articles?

151 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

When conducting research, scholars often rely on articles from scholarly journals rather than popular magazines. These are often referred to as scholarly or peer-reviewed resources.

Scholarly resources are written by scholars in a particular subject area for other scholars in that subject area (that includes you!). These articles go through what's called a "peer-review" process where other scholars read and examine the articles for quality of research before they are published. For the most part, you can rely on scholarly resources to be credible and reliable sources for your research.

Popular magazines or news websites are written by reporters who are experts on reporting and writing but not necessarily on the subject matter of their article. Articles written for these publications are written for a wider audience who has not background in the subject matter. Popular writing often cites scholarly writing.

For more information on scholarly sources, watch these videos and refer to this chart to help you identify the difference between scholarly and popular articles.

 

Finding Scholarly Articles in Databases

You can limit your search in the databases to only display search results that are scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Below are examples.

The JSTOR database contains only scholarly articles so there is no limiter in that database. 

Search Everything & EBSCO databases - on the search results screen check off the Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals box under "Limit to" on the left hand side

Gale - Gale is a 2-step process. First choose "Academic Journals" then choose "Peer-Reviewed Journals" on the right hand side.

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Which database should I use to begin my research?

148 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2020   

Go to our A-Z Database list and use the drop down box to see which databases are recommended for your subject area. Our best overall database for searching across a wide variety of subjects is Academic Search Premier.

Or you can use our Search Everything tool to search across all of our databases and the library catalog at one time.

Please contact us if you need any help choosing a database or finding information.

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