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News & Events

The Libraries Announce New Virtual Assistance Pilot Program

for Pro Se inventors, beginning August 1, 2017


The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the new United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Virtual Assistance Pilot Program beginning on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at the Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) located in the Science & Engineering Library, Lederle Lowrise, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The USPTO recommends using a registered attorney or agent to assist in preparing and prosecuting a patent application; however, they also recognize that the cost of such assistance is prohibitive for many applicants, particularly independent inventors and small business concerns. The new Virtual Assistance Pilot Program will provide greater availability to those needing assistance with the patent process.

Pro Se inventors (thosewho file patent applications without the assistance of a registered patent attorney or agent) will be able to come to the PTRC to meet with a USPTO patent examiner via a WebEx connection. PTRCs are a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries that are authorized by the USPTO to disseminate patent and trademark information and support diverse intellectual property needs of the public.

This new service is free and open to all Pro Se inventors willing to travel to the UMass Amherst PTRC. Inventors must make an advance appointment by emailing Paulina Borrego at Appointments can be scheduled from 10am-12pm and 1-3pm every Tuesday through Thursday. The examiner, who will be specifically matched to each inventor’s needs, will provide assistance with the patent application process but cannot dispense legal advice or make patentability determinations prior to an application being filed.

For more information, contact Program facilitator Paulina Borrego, UMass Amherst PTRC Librarian, at, or 413-545-7891.

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Introducing powerful new search tool, Discovery Search

Discovery Search premieres this fall as primary search on library website

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As of July 1st, the search box on the Libraries’ main page will change from UMA WorldCat to the new EBSCO search tool, Discovery Search. This powerful tool searches EBSCO databases as well as all of the databases and library holdings available at the UMass Libraries.

Discovery Search lets you tailor your search to perfectly fit your research needs, allowing you to cast a wide net, or refine with a narrower scope. Discovery Search offers a range of tools with which to customize your searches, such as: Advanced SearchFull Text Finder, and Scholarly Peer Reviewed,  just to name a few.

This summer, we will be making changes as needed in order to have Discovery Search running smoothly in order to best serve the research needs of the UMass community.

Please feel free to contact Kathleen Berry at if you have any questions about Discovery Search.

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Copyright & Information Policy Librarian Laura Quilter

Participates in a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

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The University Libraries of UMass Lowell and the Center for Asian American Studies announce the recent award of a $239,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant which will help create the Southeast Asian Digital Archive.

The Archive will document the history of Southeast Asian refugees in Lowell and will include about 63,000 images of newspapers, books, posters, and nearly 620 hours of audio and audiovisual recordings. Most of the grant will go toward hiring a full-time archivist for two years who will set up the digital infrastructure for the collection.

Thanks to an additional $28,000 Creative Economy Fund grant from the UMass president's office, all items will be made publicly accessible to students through lessons, teacher training, community workshops, and an updated exhibit at the Lowell National Historical Park.

UMass Amherst Copyright and Information Policy Librarian Laura Quilter will train project staff on copyright issues (since the Archive will digitize works that are presumptively in copyright) and consult with staff on individual copyright concerns. 

For the full UMass Lowell press release, please visit 

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The Image Collection Library Has Moved to Du Bois

and has changed its name to the Digital Scholarship Center

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Please welcome Brian Shelburne, Annie Sollinger, Michael Foldy, and their students to the 6th floor of the Du Bois Library.

They moved from Bartlett during the weekend of May 20 - 21 and are settling into their new space!

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The Libraries' Journal Study Survey

The Libraries are looking for Faculty & Grad Students to participate

Over the past decade, academic journal subscriptions have been sold in bundles, similar to cable TV.  Libraries have to subscribe to these packages, although there may be relatively few journals in them that are relevant to institutional teaching and research needs.   At the UMass Amherst Libraries, we find ourselves in a very similar situation.   We spend a significant percentage of the collections budget for the packages and pricing for them is structured in such a way that annual cost is less if we commit to multi-year agreements.  That commitment, though, limits our purchasing flexibility and hampers our ability to purchase books and subscribe to new resources that support emerging areas of scholarship.    

While we have journal use data, that quantitative data is only one measure of a journal’s relevance.  For that reason and others outlined above, the Libraries are asking faculty and graduate students to complete a very short survey regarding journals.  

The survey responses we receive, along with existing use and citation analysis data, will help us understand how journals are being used, identify gaps between current subscriptions and the real needs of our community, and allow us to make adjustments.  The survey has been developed as part of a continuous review strategy which we anticipate conducting every three years.

Please know we are committed to providing you with access to the content you need, whether we subscribe to it, purchase it, or deliver it through Interlibrary Loan.

For more information about the survey, please contact Sally Krash, Head of Information Resources Management: 413-545-6865,


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