Library Access browser extension

Have you ever been looking for journal articles while researching for an assignment, found the ideal article and then been blocked by the hefty charge that the website is asking before you can view the article? That can be frustrating, but it is even worse when you discover that you could have viewed the article for free all along.

DMU Library has subscriptions covering hundreds of journals where the article is available, just not from the publisher’s own website. You can find these articles through Library Search if you are starting from the Library website, but not everybody does start there.

Library Access from Lean Library ( is a browser extension that helps to overcome this problem. It requires that you login as a member of DMU, using your Single Sign On details. Then the extension helpfully pops up whenever it finds articles where the content is available elsewhere. Both subscriptions and open access resources are covered, making it easier to discover the articles you need for your research.

There is a video that explains how this all works.

Picture of barack Obama and text of remarks on fear of asking questions.

Asking is a sign of strength, not weakness. #DMUblackhistorymonth

One of the messages that came through from the launch of Black History Month in the Campus Centre on Monday was that “Asking was a Sign of Strength”.

It is an important message to take hold of because, for most adults, it seems that the opposite must be true. As young children we did not have a fear of asking questions, but for many people that changes as we grow older. Something; self-consciousness, or a fear of just confirming other people’s stereotypes, gets in the way, inhibiting us from seeking help when we need it.

Some of the students present mentioned that they had arrived at DMU with that assumption, and had held on to it until they got the feedback from their first assignments. It was at that point that they had to look with honesty and humility at their current set of skills and see which ones needed a boost. Doing that alone can take real strength.

But, who to ask? You might turn to other students facing the same challenges, or to your tutors. If there is a Centre of Asking, though, I reckon it would be found within Library and Learning Services. The Library is stuffed full of people who are dedicated to answering questions: there are librarians on help desks throughout the main part of the day; a Maths Learning Centre with advice on hand and the CLaSS team offering workshops and tutorials on how to build up your writing and study skills.

Like the question “Where did that phrase come from? Who recently said ‘Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength’?”. Librarians have the skills to quickly filter the various information sources and point you to Barack Obama’s speech in 2009 using those very words. They might also throw in Michelle Obama’s additional comments that people should “Ask questions. Ask stupid questions. Don’t be afraid to trip, fall and don’t be afraid to get back up.”

After all, the only stupid questions are the ones that do not get asked.

Picture of barack Obama and text of remarks on fear of asking questions.

Obama, B. (8 September 2009) Barack Obama’s back-to-school speech: text. Daily Telegraph [online]
Obama, M. (26 May 2011) Michelle Obama’s tips for growing up: don’t be afraid to fail. Daily Telegraph [online]