The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the statewide vendors, Gale Cengage, ProQuest, and Encyclopaedia Britannica provide support for statewide licensed electronic resources for MLS members' library staff. A great way to stay up-to-date on these valuable resources is subscribing to the RSS feed of the MBLC's Statewide Electronic Resources Blog. In most cases, the vendor is the first line of support since they have dedicated support staff available (sometimes 24/7). Patrons should call their local library for assistance. Below is a summary of when and how to contact vendors or MLS for support.

Before you call, check out the Troubleshooting Statewide Database Access Issues LibGuide. And of course, make sure that you are using the latest links on your web page. If your library does not do its own authentication (most libraries), you should be using the links for your library located on the MBLC's link generator pages. Once you have updated your links, always be sure to refresh the page in your browser.

Q: What Information Should You Have Ready When You Call?

A: The more information you can provide will usually result in a swifter resolution to your problem. Here is a list of useful information you should try to have available when you contact the vendor or MLS:

Q: Under What Circumstances Should You Contact The Vendor?

  1. Libraries that manage their own authentication systems (mainly academic libraries) should contact the vendor directly when their IP addresses have changed.
  2. You think there is a system problem with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Gale, or ProQuest electronic resources.
  3. You have a question about content or searching the statewide licensed products from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Gale, or ProQuest.
  4. Usage reports:
    • You want to start receiving usage reports and have never have requested to receive them, or don't know if you've ever received them.
    • You want to change the email address for receiving usage reports.
    • You want to receive a special usage report for a particular span of time.
  5. You want to change the "back to" or "return to library" link from the electronic resource (default links back to MBLC) to your library's web page (if vendor has this capability).
  6. Your library name is incorrect on the electronic resource page (if vendor has this capability).

Vendor Contact Information

Gale Cengage

  1. System Problems: You can check system status online at: (see upper right corner of screen) or Contact Gale's Technical Support Desk at:
    1-800-877-4253 (Select Option 4). Fax: (248) 699-8049; Daily 24/7 (M-F)
  2. Update IP addresses, email addresses, back to links, link to OPAC, custom holdings, etc. Contact Gale's Technical Support Desk at:
    1-800-877-4253 (Select Option 4). Fax: (248) 699-8049; Daily 24/7 or email
  3. Searching/content questions: Contact Gale Electronic Search Assistance at:
    Phone:1-800-877-4253 (Select Option 4) or email


  1. All support: Contact Support Form
  2. Technical support: authentication, linking, error messages, search assistance: 1-800-889-3358 Daily 8AM-3AM
  3. Customer support: IP updates, preference settings: 1-800-521-0600 x72971 M-F 8AM-6PM
  4. Support - online support materials

Encyclopaedia Britannica

  1. General questions: Phone: 1-800-621-3900; Fax: (800) 344-9624; Email:
  2. Technical Support Submission Form
    For technical support and usage reports:
    Call: 1-800-621-3900, ext. 3
  3. Britannica Online IP Request Form: to report IP changes

Q: Under What Circumstances Should You Contact MLS for Help?

  1. You DON'T KNOW if your library was ever set up to use the licensed resources - perhaps you replaced a librarian who was familiar with this process or the dog ate your paperwork.
  2. You are having trouble connecting or logging on once you are set up. (First, make sure your local Internet connection is not the problem.)
  3. You are using a computer in a library that is not able to be geolocated and you are being prompted to enter a library card number by the portal.

MLS Contacts

Rick Levine
MLS (Marlborough)
508-357-2121 ext. 306

Scott Kehoe
MLS (Marlborough)
508-357-2121 ext. 308

Diana Davis
MLS (Western)

Page last updated on 09/29/2015