UMBrella Update: FAQs

UMBrella Update

We’re just a few weeks out from the launch of UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs!

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions Healey Library has fielded about UMBrella over the last few months:

What is UMBrella?
UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs is a powerful, state-of-the-art, single-stop research and discovery tool. It not only allows users to search the majority of the library’s resources from a single interface, but it also provides users with tools to manage and organize the resources they find.

When does UMBrella launch?
UMBrella is scheduled to go live on Wednesday, January 31, 2018!

How do I learn more about UMBrella?
Sign up to attend a workshop in February! Or, if you prefer, stay tuned for the self-paced instructional materials that will be published shortly after UMBrella launches.

Do I need to sign in to use UMBrella?
Users do not need to log in to search UMBrella. However, some UMBrella functions are only available to users after they log in, including viewing your patron account information, saving searches, and requesting books or articles from other libraries.

How do I log in to UMBrella?
We are pleased to announce that UMBrella will be using the University’s Single Sign On authentication system. Users will log in to UMBrella the same way as they access WISER and HRDirect, using their UMass Boston email username and password.

How will UMBrella change what I do?
If you’ve ever been frustrated about having to search the library catalog plus multiple individual research databases in the process of locating resources for your research, we think you’ll be surprised and delighted by the ease with which you can search the majority of the library’s subscription resources, as well as high-quality, scholarly Open Access material, from this single search interface. Not only will searching be streamlined, but you will also have a single location from which you can save your searches, organize the resources you’ve found, and export them to a reference management tool like Mendeley or Zotero. You will also be able to use natural language searching and take advantage of UMBrella’s advanced algorithms and search filtering to quickly and efficiently navigate through the library’s resources. And better yet, UMBrella will be fully accessible on and responsive to any device you’re using, including smartphones and tablets.

Will I still be able to access the library interfaces with which I’m familiar?
Some of the library’s search systems and interfaces will stay exactly the same, including the A-Z list of Databases & Indexes. If you prefer to go directly to a particular database or journal, you will still be able to do that–in fact, UMBrella can help you get there even more quickly. There will also be a few changes to library interfaces. We will be releasing a newly redesigned library homepage to coincide with the launch of UMBrella. The new homepage not only has a cleaner look and feel, but it will also be easier to navigate from any device. Some library systems, including the Library Catalog (for searching for books, e-books, archival materials, and media) and Full Text Finder (for searching for individual journal titles), will be retired and replaced by the new UMBrella system and interface.

Will anything change after the launch?
Our priority goal is ensuring that all essential library functions will be available on January 31 to allow for an almost-seamless user experience. Our work doesn’t stop on January 31, however. There will still be plenty of fine-tuning to do and improvements to be made after the launch, many of which will be the result of input and feedback we receive from our users after you’ve had a chance to try out the new system.

Where did the name come from?
UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs was the brainchild of UMass Boston graduate student Rachel Hoffman, who was the unanimous winner of the campus-wide naming contest for our new research and discovery tool, held in summer 2017.

If you have a question that isn’t covered above, send an e-mail to!

UMBrella Update: Sign Up for a Workshop!

UMBrella Update

Happy New Year from Healey Library! As we celebrate the arrival of 2018, we also eagerly anticipate the launch of UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs at the end of this month!

In order to help the UMass Boston community take full advantage of UMBrella and all of its features, Healey Library is offering a series of drop-in workshops during the month of February. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend these workshops, learn about the wealth of new features available to users, practice using the new tool, get guided assistance from Healey Librarians, and ask any questions they may have.

Sign up for an UMBrella workshop through the UMass Boston Training Portal. Feel free to include this information in your syllabus or course materials as well!

UMBrella workshops are scheduled for:

Workshops will be held in the Center for Library Instruction (CLI) on the 4th floor of Healey Library, room 15.

If none of these scheduled times works for you, faculty may also request a one-on-one consultation with a librarian that we can schedule at your convenience. Please contact or sign up online to arrange an appointment.

Additional instructional materials, including LibGuides and tutorials, will be provided shortly after the Go Live date.

As always, Healey Library welcomes your questions, comments, and concerns about UMBrella, directed to

UMBrella Update: What Does It Do?

UMBrella Update

Healey Library is making steady progress toward launching UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs at the end of January 2018!

UMBrella is so much more than a new search tool. UMBrella will provide users with a one‐stop interface to search the majority of the Library’s wide range of intellectual property: books and e‐books, journal articles, streaming media, archival collections, and high-quality, scholarly Open Access materials. In addition to simplifying your research workflows, UMBrella will be responsive to mobile devices, will allow for natural language searching, and will provide extensive sorting and filtering options to help you quickly refine your results and locate the resources you need.

Additionally, UMBrella will function as a research management system, allowing you to keep track of your searches and the resources you find from a single interface. Signing in using your UMass Boston network ID and password will allow you to:

  • View items and resources available at UMass Boston as well as other institutions
  • Access your personal virtual bookshelf to save searches and resources, add labels, and view your search history
  • Renew books and other library resources
  • Export citations to a reference management system like Mendeley or Zotero

We think faculty, staff, and students alike will be pleasantly surprised by how easily and quickly you will be able to search for, discover, and manage Healey Library’s research resources from a single interface.

Healey Library welcomes your questions, comments, and concerns about UMBrella, directed to

UMBrella Update: Arriving January 2018!

UMBrella Update

For years, UMass Boston’s faculty, students, and researchers have been yearning for easier ways to search and manage scholarly resources. To fulfill these requests and the University’s goal of providing state-of-the-art Library and IT services, Healey Library has undertaken a transformational library system upgrade. Last year Healey Library, in joint partnership with UMass Boston’s Information Technology Services (ITS) and University Information Technology Services (UITS), began preparing for the migration to a new and full-featured library system infrastructure, which will be launched at the end of January 2018.

Student Rachel Hoffman with umbrella
UMass Boston graduate student Rachel Hoffman, winner of the search tool naming contest

Faculty, staff, students, and researchers will access this new system via UMBrella, an easy‐to‐use, one‐stop search and discovery interface for books, e-books, videos, articles, digital media, and so much more. In Summer 2017, Healey Library ran a campus-wide naming contest for this exciting and powerful new system. UMass Boston graduate student Rachel Hoffman was the clear winner with her submission UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs, which we think is perfect both for this school and for describing a comprehensive tool for research and knowledge discovery in an increasingly complex information environment.

We are aware that the start of the Spring semester is a busy time for our community. Please be assured that Healey Library, ITS, and UITS staff members have been working hard on this major migration for the past year to make the transition as smooth as possible. We are confident that, with the extensive preparations we have been making, the new system’s more intuitive design, and your patience and support as we resolve inevitable glitches, we can anticipate an exciting and successful launch at the end of January.

In the meantime, please stay tuned for updates and notices about your next steps for experiencing the full benefits of UMBrella.

Healey Library welcomes your questions, comments, and concerns as we take these next exciting steps in streamlining and enriching your research lives. Feedback may be directed to

Faculty, submit your reserves requests today!

The deadline for submitting library reserves requests for Winter and Spring 2018 is Friday, December 15, 2017!

Why the compressed deadline?  Because UMBrella is coming!  You may have heard that Healey Library is in the process of transitioning to a new library system—one that will culminate in the launch of UMBrella, our new library search and discovery tool, at the end of January 2018.

While we are executing this system migration, our ability to perform reserves processing will be frozen for a short period of time. In order to work around this freeze, please submit your reserves requests for Winter and Spring 2018 by Friday, December 15, 2017. We cannot guarantee that any requests submitted after this date will be available for the start of the Winter and Spring semesters.  This includes requests for the purchase of new materials, transfer requests, and the removal of materials you will no longer be using. Requests received after December 15 will be processed and added to the new system after February 1, 2018.

New purchase requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and as always, we strongly encourage faculty to utilize open educational resources (OERs), subscription resources available through the Library, and personal or review copies of textbooks to place on reserve.

Personal copies of books and DVDs can be dropped off at Healey Library’s circulation desk on the second floor by completing a short form anytime the library is open. You may also submit requests via our online Reserves Request Form. Email any questions to Find more details on the Reserves Policy Page.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we prepare to explore exciting new library frontiers together! The staff of Healey Library wish you all a smooth and productive close to the semester!

Updates from UMass Boston's Healey Library

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