Fix It! Troubleshooting Mason Libraries' Online Resources

Last Updated: 29 November 2023 | Provide Feedback


Mason Libraries has a vast collection of databases, ebooks, and streaming media! On occasion, you may experience a technical issue with one of them. After reviewing this guide, you will be able to troubleshoot those issues and know where to go to get help if troubleshooting doesn’t work.

After reviewing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  1. Troubleshoot technical problems experienced while using online library resources
  2. Know where to go to get help for technical problems with online library resources

Step 1. Check Your Device

Clear your browser’s search history, cookies, and cache. For your convenience, select the option to retain saved passwords if your browser allows. Restart your browser. If that doesn’t work, try using a different browser. For more guidance, see this infoguide on how to clear your cache.

Step 2. Get Your Item Through a Different Source

Try finding your item through a different database by copying and pasting the title into Mason Search on the library homepage. For more guidance, see this tutorial on how to find full text using Mason Search.

Step 3. Report the Issue

Use Mason Libraries' Virtual Reference Service if it's open when you're doing your research. You will see the chat service window all over the library website, including Mason Libraries’ home page.

Virtual Reference Chat service on library home page

Alternatively, you may call or visit any Mason Libraries Service Desk. Select this link for hours and contact information. If it’s after hours, feel free to send an email to

Step 4. Try It Again the Next Day

Usually, online resource issues are resolved within 24 hours. If time allows, come back the next day to check the status of the database you are trying to access.

Step 5. One Other Recommendation

Once you have identified an online source you want to use for your research, if possible, save a local copy using the organization tool of your choice. You will be able to access it at any time! Mason Libraries recommends Zotero, a free open-source tool designed to collect, organize, annotate, cite, and share research. Learn more about Zotero by watching these videos.

If you have questions or need more help try Ask a Librarian. Use the buttons below to download a printable version of this tutorial.


Creative Commons License Fix It! Troubleshooting Mason Libraries' Online Resources by The Teaching & Learning Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.