Tech Alerts


Northeastern Welcomes Convenience Store Vending Machine

Posted by: Dylan Sessler


Gone are the days of running to the corner store in desperation only to find it closed. Gone are the times when you arrive at the library fully prepared for a day of studying only to realize you forgot your phone charger.

This semester, Snell Library has a new addition to the first floor near Argo Tea; a vending machine offering essentials such as highlighters, medicine, and caffeinated gummy bears. This is the first location of the Northeastern-based start-up, The Lobby Shop, which offers a convenient solution for the busy lives of college students and professionals.


Founded by three NU undergrads, The Lobby Shop was born after a chance meeting at IDEA, Northeastern’s venture accelerator. Co-founders Beth Hutchings and Dylan Sessler came to their IDEA orientation with a plan to take college essentials and offer them in a vending machine. Midway through the meeting, freshman Evan LaBelle stood up and pitched an idea eerily similar to their own.  A few days later they were officially partners of The Lobby Shop.


Supported by IDEA, Maureen Timmons, and their coach Jordan Vallino, the three students developed their product list to incorporate the common necessities in the following categories:

  • OTC medicine
  • electronics accessories
  • hygiene products
  • school supplies
  • everyday essentials

The machine will also feature a rotating selection of fun and useful items that students will be able to vote on.

After receiving contract approval and gap funding this past summer, the trio installed their machine in the back of Argo Tea in Snell Library to offer urgently needed items in a central location on campus. The Lobby Shop team plans to bring their service to residence halls at Northeastern and other universities to provide safe and convenient access to products students need at all hours of the day.

“The reality is that Boston isn’t a 24-hour city” Beth notes, “and most of our lives don’t end when stores close. Especially if we have another winter like last year, we want as many people as possible to have access to things they often need around the clock.”


Posted in: Library News and Events, Staff Interests, Tech Alerts


Digital Repository Service (DRS) replaces IRis for storage and sharing of NU-created materials

Posted by: Sarah Sweeney


After several months of preparation, the library has now successfully transitioned from IRis, our previous repository platform, to the newly redesigned Digital Repository Service (DRS).

IRis was publicly launched in 2006, and attained a milestone of 1 million downloads in 2013. The DRS builds upon the success of IRis by offering expanded functionality and customization specific to community needs.

Like IRis, the DRS is a storage and preservation tool designed to allow the Northeastern University community to store materials that are produced at the University or are important to the university’s mission. Faculty are welcome to upload their research materials, publications, datasets, and presentations; staff can store important administrative materials, like departmental photographs and documents. As in IRis, the library deposits all master’s theses and doctoral dissertations completed at the University into the DRS. Exemplary undergraduate student projects and publications are also included in the DRS.

DRS features include:

Self deposit: Faculty members may deposit their own material.

Simple discovery: The locally developed interface offers user-friendly searching and browsing.

Saving and downloading: Materials can be saved to Sets or downloaded for future use.

Easy account creation: Users may sign in to the DRS with their myNEU username and password.

As of today the DRS has over 70,000 files stored, and more than half of those files are available to the public:

  • 1,677 master’s theses and doctoral dissertations completed at Northeastern University since 2008

  • 1,217 publications authored by Northeastern University faculty and staff

  • 16 archival collections from University Archives and Special Collections, including photographs from the Boys and Girls Club and Freedom House collections

  • 25,000 photographs from Northeastern University’s Office of Marketing and Communications (faculty and staff access only)

  • And growing…

We encourage everyone to visit the DRS to view the impressive collection of material produced by Northeastern University faculty, staff, and students. Faculty and staff are invited to start uploading their materials right away. For more information about the DRS, or for help getting started uploading your files, please visit our DRS resource page:

Posted in: Scholarly Communications, Tech Alerts


Faculty: We’ve Updated Our Guide to Creating Article Links for Blackboard!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


It’s that time of year again… you’re thinking about your syllabus for the spring semester! Linking to articles and e-book chapters on Blackboard is a great way to help your students save money on classpacks. It’s also a good way to stay in compliance with copyright law.

Check out our guide to help you find and create permalinks to articles and e-books in library databases – links that will persist over time and are best for including in an online reading list. We’ve recently updated our guide because creating permalinks is now so much easier – you can do it right within Scholar OneSearch!

Posted in: Research Online, Tech Alerts


Faculty: Get Help Linking to Articles on Blackboard!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


Linking to articles and e-book chapters on Blackboard is a great way to help your students save money on classpacks. It’s also a good way to stay in compliance with copyright law!

We’ve created a new guide to help you find and create permalinks to articles and e-books in library databases – links that will persist over time and are best for including in an online reading list. Check it out here!

Posted in: Research Online, Tech Alerts


Streamlining our Services: Interlibrary Loan

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


This is to let you know that the Northeastern Libraries’ participation in NExpress has come to an end. We had been preparing an announcement in our forthcoming newsletter, but our vendor for the NExpress system has disabled our access prematurely, and so effective immediately, borrowing books from other libraries through the NExpress system is no longer available.

If you have outstanding NExpress requests and they are still “in the pipeline” awaiting fulfillment, they will be filled and you’ll be notified when you can pick them up.

If you have NExpress books in your possession, you may continue to use them.  However, no new requests–or requests to renew NExpress books–will be accepted after today.

If you need to make new requests from today forward, please use one of our existing interlibrary borrowing systems, WorldCat Local or ILLiad. All of our NExpress partner libraries also participate in those systems, so they will continue to lend to us, and us to them, going forward.

Please return all NExpress items by May 22, 2013 at the latest.


Here’s what you need to know going forward:

You may use WorldCat Local to search and order books and other returnable items: you’ll see the links within NUCat–or just use the link on the library’s home page, or connect directly to

  • The advantage of WorldCat Local ordering is your request goes directly to local partner libraries, and therefore it is the fastest method.
  • Popular libraries’ collections from the NExpress system, like Wellesley and Williams Colleges, continue to be accessible to you through WorldCat Local

You may also place orders using ILLiad: follow the link to Interlibrary Loan on our home page, or connect directly to

  • The advantage of ILLiad is that if you already use ILLiad delivery for PDF journal articles, it may be convenient to have your books, videos and other returnable items listed in the same system.  

The reason for this change is that the NU Libraries are upgrading our infrastructure over the summer, and the new system we are implementing does not support the NExpress technology. (More about this infrastructure change is also forthcoming.) Furthermore, the NExpress system added complexity to our online environment by requiring users to choose from three different, unconnected systems for interlibrary services.

We know NExpress is a popular service and we apologize for the inconvenience of this short notice. If you have any questions about outstanding NExpress requests, or if you need assistance using WorldCat Local or ILLiad, please contact the Circulation Desk at  at 617.373.8778.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Tech Alerts