Make Your Smartphone SMARTER!
Use the BC Libraries Mobile Services

By Ken Liss


Do you have an iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or other smartphone? Take advantage of mobile services available from the Boston College Libraries, and get connected to the information and research help you need.

Point your phone to /libraries/mobile/, and here are some of the things you'll be able to do:

  • Use mobile versions of many key article search databases.

  • Send questions and get answers via text messaging.

  • Send book titles, call numbers, and shelf locations from the catalog to your phone.

  • Access your RefWorks account with RefWorks Mobile.

  • Download database apps for the iPhone.

  • Access other BC mobile sites such as The Heights, BC Athletics, and the BC Shuttle Locator.

Plus, coming soon you'll be able to search the catalog, reserve a study room, and renew books from your phone.

Here are the details:

Mobile Database Searching

EBSCOHost databases provided by the libraries can be searched in specially-formatted mobile editions. moblie2 These include Business Source Complete; America: History & Life/Historical Abstracts; Communication & Mass Media Complete; CINAHL; ATLA Religion Database; Music Index Online; and more.

EBSCOhost Mobile has the following features available:

  • Basic Searching

  • HTML and PDF Full Text

  • FindIt (linking to full text available via other providers)

  • Search limits

We'll be adding databases from other providers as they become available in mobile versions.

Text a Librarian


You can use your cell phone -- even if it's not a smartphone -- to send questions via text messaging to Boston College librarians and get answers back quickly.

To send a question, text 66746 and start your first message with the keyword askbc. Questions sent during our current text service hours (Monday-Friday, 10 am-5 pm) will receive a prompt response. Responses will come as multiple messages if they exceed 160 characters. Questions sent outside of service hours receive an automated response and will be answered when the service resumes.

See the Text a Librarian page for more info.

Send Book Locations to Your Phone


Click on the green Locate! link in the record of an O'Neill Library book you find in the Quest or Holmes catalog and it will bring up a stack map.


Click on "text to your cellphone" on the map and you can have the title, call number, and shelf location sent as a text message to your phone.

No more need to memorize long call numbers or write them on a slip of paper (or the back of your hand). No more having to figure out where in the stacks the call number will be found. You won't get the map on your phone, but you will get the exact location where the book is shelved along with the title and call number.

The Locate! feature is currently available only for books in the O'Neill Stacks, Reference, and Current Periodicals sections but soon this feature will be available for finding the location of books at the Theology and Ministry Library.

RefWorks Mobile


Many students have discovered the benefits of the RefWorks customized database that lets you capture, store, and organize citations for articles, books, websites, and other sources that you find during your research. RefWorks Mobile lets you access your citation lists via your smartphone.

Here is what you can do with RefWorks Mobile:

  • Search within your RefWorks account

  • View ALL references and file attachments (if the attachment type is supported by your mobile device)

  • View references by folder

  • Add or remove references to/from a folder

  • Create new folders

  • Add comments or text to the Notes field of your references

Note: RefMobile is only accessible using the BC Group Code and your individual login information.

Database Apps for the iPhone

Several providers of databases to which the BC Libraries subscribe have made iPhone apps available for use with their products. The apps, which are linked to from the BC Libraries Mobile page, include: Gale Databases (Academic OneFile, Biography Resource Center, Literature Resource Center, Tablebase, and others); American Institute of Physics; Naxos Music Library; and the Social Science Research Network.

BC Mobile Sites

The Libraries' mobile site also provides links to other BC mobile services, including the Heights, BC Athletics, and the BC Shuttle locator. Let us know if there are other sites you would like to see added.

Kenneth Liss, Communication Librarian, O'Neill Library