All posts by Mary T Moser

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

Try Out a Government, Politics, and Law Database!

HeinOnline LogoHealey Library invites your feedback on a new trial database, billed as “the world’s largest image-based government document and legal research database,” HeinOnline’s Government, Politics and Law package. This resource is on trial through March 31, 2018.

This database provides extensive coverage of legal history and government documents, including U.S. statutes and case law available as PDF downloads, and more than 300 years of information covering political development. It might be of particular interest to users looking for a replacement for WestLaw.

Five Things You Can Do In Less Than 15 Seconds in HeinOnline

Five Things You Can Do in Less Than 15 Seconds in HeinOnline

This database’s more than 50 million pages of content cover subjects applicable to:

  • Political Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • World History
  • Civil & Human Rights
  • And more than 80 other subject areas

HeinOnline offers several training resources to help new users search and navigate within the interface, quickly retrieve documents, and use helpful tools and resources integrated throughout the database:

To learn more, watch this three minute video.

Login now at, or via the Healey Library Databases & Indexes page.

Let us know what you think of this resource with this feedback form!

Danitta Wong
Danitta Wong

Please direct any questions or comments to Danitta Wong, Head of Collection Development and Assessment: or 617.287.5924



Information Literacy Paradigm Shift: Standards to Framework

What do the words “information literacy” mean to you?

As John Naisbitt portended in 1982, “We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge” (p. 24). It is both an unimaginable privilege and a near-insurmountable challenge to live in a time of information overload and near-constant connectivity. To contextualize our data-driven lives, consider that every minute in 2014, Facebook users were sharing over 2 million pieces of content, Twitter users were tweeting over 270,000 times, and Google received over 4,000,000 search queries (James, 2014). Also consider that 64% of American adults—and 85% of American young adults—now own a smartphone, and 46% of smartphone owners describe their phones as something they “couldn’t live without” (Smith, 2015). What do we do with all of that information? And more importantly, how do we teach our students to become critical navigators and consumers of that information and, hopefully, producers of that information and content themselves? Continue reading Information Literacy Paradigm Shift: Standards to Framework