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Working Online

This LibGuide answers many frequently asked questions about how to have the best experience when accessing and working with online materials.

What Software Do I Need?

Recommended Operating Systems & Web Browsers

These are the only operating systems and web browsers that the Library recommends and is able to support. Using other browsers, or using earlier versions of these four, may produce unreliable results. For best results, use the most recent versions of operating systems and web browsers.  


  • Your PC's operating system should be running at least Windows 7 SP1, Home or Professional edition, and no earlier version.
  • We strongly suggest you avoid any version of Windows 8.
  • We highly recommend everyone upgrade to Windows 10 if possible.

Apple OS X

Your Mac should be running at least macOS 10.13: High Sierra (Lobo). 

Updating Browsers

You should use only very recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge (Windows 10), or Safari for macOS. 

  • Use the Google Chrome site to obtain or update Chrome for either Windows or macOS.
  • Use the Get Firefox site to obtain or update Firefox for either Windows or macOS.
  • >Use the Safari Update site to update Safari for macOS. 
  • If you want to use Microsoft Edge, we strongly urge you to install to the new version (January 2020) of  Edge if possible.
  • The use of Internet Explorer, even the last version, v. 11, is no longer supported by any of the vendors of the online services that the Library provides. Use of IE with current platforms may produce unreliable or unworkable results.

Tablets and Smartphones

In most cases, the interfaces for all the research services the Library provides have been written for use on current tablets and smartphones. While all possible devices and combinations of operating system and browser have not been tested, you should be able to use recent iOS or Android devices without any problems or lack of functionality. As is true of any computer, OS and browser combination, the more recent the version, the more likely you are to have a good working experience.