Online Display: Best Books of 2020

We’re celebrating the best of 2020 – best books, that is! This year’s display features more than 190 titles that appeared on 17 year-end best books lists.* Visit the Best Books of 2020 display website to browse by category (fiction or nonfiction) and format (print or electronic). From the display website you can view a book’s current availability and/or place holds.

Curious to know about the “best of the best”? There were 20 books that appeared on five or more lists:

  1. A Burning by Megha Majumdar
  2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  3. City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
  4. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  5. Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X  by Les Payne & Tamara Payne
  6. Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick
  7. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
  8. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
  9. Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
  10. Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab
  11. Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
  12. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  13. Memorial Drive by Natasha D. Trethewey
  14. Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  15. Missionaries by Phil Klay
  16. Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  17. The Searcher by Tana French
  18. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
  19. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  20. Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Borrowing Books & Audiobooks from the Library

Those of you on-campus and enrolled in the University’s COVID screening program are welcome to visit the library to borrow books from the print book and CD audiobook lists. Either stop by to browse, or place a hold request in the catalog and we’ll notify you when the items are ready to be picked up. For a contactless experience you can retrieve your items from the “open holds cart” in the lobby and check them out to yourself using the self-check.

Accessing E-Books & Digital Audiobooks Online

Everyone in the Bentley community is able to access the titles on the e-book and digital audiobook lists from anywhere in the world with a current Bentley email address and password.

We hope you find something good to read from 2020 while we all await brighter days in 2021! Please contact us if you have any questions or need help using the e-book and digital audiobook collections.

*sources consulted: AudioFile, Bloomberg, Booklist, The Christian Science Monitor (fiction, nonfiction), The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Publishers Weekly, strategy+business, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

New Arrivals! Books, E-Books, Audiobooks & Films

Check out the 111 new titles we added in December and January! Visit the New Books & DVDs page to browse our most recent book, audiobook, DVD, and e-book arrivals. Please note that the “ALL NEW BOOKS” link will display all new e-books and print books, but that due to differences in the way that e-books are cataloged they do not appear on the individual “Subject” lists.

Borrowing Books, DVDs and Audiobooks from the Library

If you are enrolled in Bentley’s COVID-19 screening program you are welcome to visit the library. Either stop by to browse, or place a hold request in the catalog and we’ll notify you when the items are ready to be picked up. For a contactless experience you can retrieve your items from the “open holds cart” in the lobby and check them out to yourself using the self-check.

Accessing E-Books, Digital Audiobooks & Streaming Films

If you are unable to come into the building, downloadable e-books and digital audiobooks are available via OverDrive. OverDrive is the best e-book collection to use if you are looking for popular reading, bestsellers, new releases, and classics. E-books are also available through a variety of library databases. To learn more about our different e-book collections please see read the recent Databases of the Month: eBook Collections post.

Lastly, you can find new films and documentaries to stream online for free from our four streaming films databases.

Need Help?

Have questions about finding or using books, audiobooks, or films? Please contact the Reference Desk.

Monday, February 1: Storm Closing

Due to the snowstorm that is impacting our area today we will be postponing our planned building reopening until tomorrow, Tuesday February 2nd. Currently we plan to open at 7:30am on February 2, but please check back here, our website, or social media for any weather-related updates.  You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Don’t forget that even when the library’s doors are closed, our research databases, eBook collections and streaming films databases are always accessible from both on and off campus.

Stay warm and safe!

Library Opens February 2. What to Know Before You Go!

Updated February 1 at 7:00 a.m.

We are excited to re-open our doors for Spring 2021! Any member of the Bentley community who is enrolled in the University’s COVID-19 testing program is welcome to visit the library starting Monday, February 1, 2021 Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Please be prepared to show your Bentley ID and display a current COVID testing program wristband to enter.

You can view the complete library hours calendar, including our online Reference Help hours, for the entire trimester online. Hours are subject to change due to holidays, inclement weather, or unforeseen circumstances. 

Additional guidelines and information are provided below. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Bentley Library Building Opening

  • The Library is operating in accordance with state and university COVID-19 public health guidelines. All library users and staff are required to wear face coverings, maintain 6 feet physical distance, and practice hand hygiene. Please perform your daily health self-check and stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Like all buildings on campus, you will need both your current Bentley ID and the appropriate wristband from the COVID testing program to enter the library through the main entrance.    
  • Building occupancy will be limited and monitored. When you enter the library, you will be given an occupancy card representing a seat or spot in the library. The cards are color coded by floor. You will need to return the card when you leave. As long as there are cards available, there will be a seat in the building. Due to the occupancy limits, we ask that you please be courteous to others and mindful of your time in the library.  
  • Do not leave any personal belongings in the building, as you may not be able to re-enter to get them if we are at capacity. 
  • Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer are available throughout the library. Please wipe down any shared surfaces before and after you use them. 
  • Food is prohibited in the library until further notice. 

Study Rooms and Spaces 

  • The library’s study rooms are subject to reduced capacity and physical distancing guidelines. Many study rooms are limited to single occupancy; some of the larger rooms accommodate two people. Please check the occupancy sign posted on each room. Study rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not available, but you can check current room availability online before visiting.  
  • Face coverings are required in all library spaces at all times, including in study rooms, study carrels and pods, and at study tables. 
  • Furniture is arranged to ensure proper physical distancing. Please do not move furniture. 

Borrowing Library Materials and Using Course Reserves 

  • To minimize face-to-face interactions, we request that you use the library’s self-check machine to check out your items.  
  • Please return your library items in the book return drop, located at the main entrance.  
  • Search the Course Reserves site to see if your professor has set aside a copy of the textbook or other required materials for your class. You can also check the “Course Documents” section of your Blackboard site for any readings your professor may have put on electronic reserve.  

Online Research Help 

  • Reference librarians are available online to help you with your papers and assignments. Use live chat, email or text 781.728.0511 to get research, database, and citation help. You can also book an appointment for a research consultation via Zoom. The virtual Reference Desk hours and contact information are posted on the Research Help page.  
  • Visit our Getting Started Online guide for more details about remote resources.

Computers & Printers 

The library provides computers and printers (color and B&W) for you to use if you need one. To install the Bentley print drivers on your laptop, visit the Falcon Printing website. You will also find information about printing funds and costs on that site.  

Get Updates 

Keep an eye on your inbox for our regular monthly In the Know email, and don’t forget to follow @BentleyLibrary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for updates, news, events, and photos.  

Are You Subscribed? Get Free Online Access to NYTimes, WSJ & FT!

Did you know that the library provides free online access to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times for current Bentley students, staff and faculty? Sign up for your subscriptions today!

Registration links, renewal information, and key features:

The New York Times

  • See The New York Times registration instructions
  • Subscription provides access to the website, the Spanish and Chinese editions of the newspaper, and NYTimes mobile apps. Not included are the Premium Crosswords, Times Insider and Crosswords app.
  • Includes access to New York Times in Education, an educator site that provides curated course-relevant content (videos, photos, infographics, and podcasts), instructional strategies designed to promote learning across disciplines, and ideas for co-curricular activities outside of the classroom.
  • All accounts expire on their one year anniversary, but can be renewed following these easy renewal instructions.

The Wall Street Journal

  • See The Wall Street Journal registration instructions
  • Subscription provides full access to the website and mobile apps.
  • accounts last for one calendar year from activation, but can be renewed following these easy renewal instructions.

Financial Times

  • See the Financial Times registration instructions
  • Subscription provides full access to the website and mobile apps.
  • Choose topics to follow and sign up for customized email alerts based on your interests by adding FT Topics and Alerts to your myFT account.

More information about these three newspaper subscriptions and additional news databases can be found on the Current News research guide. Contact the Reference Desk if you need assistance or have questions.

Designed Just For You: Research Guides for Courses, Projects & Topics

Taking GB112, GB214 or GB320 this semester? Reference Librarians have designed custom library research guides to point you to the best resources for your assignments. Whether you’re looking for a SWOT analysis for Apple, consumer trends for frozen desserts, or an analysis of the insurance industry, we’ve got you covered!

Research guides are also available for a variety of other courses, including History, EXP Writing, GLS and Marketing.

But wait…there’s more! Library research guides can help you navigate a number of popular research topics and questions. For example:

Look for the Research Guides link in the Research Help on our homepage to browse and search our entire collection of guides.

Don’t forget, you can Ask a Reference Librarian for research help 7 days a week! Send an email to, use the live chat widget, or text 781.728.0511.

Look for the Research Guides link on the library’s home page.

Library Status & Services: January 19-31

Happy New Year! Like all of you, the Library has been busy preparing for the start of online classes on January 19th. During the first two weeks of the trimester library staff will continue to provide services and resources online to the Bentley community. We plan to reopen the building on February 1st, barring any changes to the University’s scheduled resumption of in-person operations. We will post updated information here when we reopen.

Starting the Spring Semester Online
Library Services and Resources
January 19-31, 2021

Contactless Pickup & Returns

  • We will be offering contactless pickup on Wednesdays in January from January 13th-27th (excluding course reserves). Simply search our online catalog, click “request” on any item you want, sign in with your Bentley credentials, and submit the request. You will receive a confirmation email with pickup instructions.
  • If you have books or DVDs to return please place them in the book return drop, located at the main entrance.  The book drop is open 24×7.

Online Library Services Help

  • If you have questions about borrowing/renewing books and other library items, Course Reserves, Museum Passes, or building operations, please contact Library Services via phone 781.891.2168, email or live chat.
Library Services Help Hours: January 19 – 31
Sunday noon – 8:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Interlibrary Loan and Scan on Demand

Online Resources and Research Help 

  • The library website——is your portal to accessing online library services and resources. Your Bentley email address and password grant you remote access to most library databases and electronic resources – anytime, anywhere. 
  • Librarians have created research guides for popular topics and specific classes such as GB214 and GB320. The guides are a great help in getting started when doing research for projects and papers. Don’t wait to check them out – your first assignments will be due very soon!    
  • Contact the Reference Desk for research help via email refdesk@bentley.edulive chat, or text 781.728.0511. Research consultations via Zoom are available by appointment.
Reference & Research Help Hours: January 19 – 31
Sunday1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Monday – Thursday8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Visit the Reference & Research Help page for full services and contact information.

Additional details about the library’s operations can be found on the Bentley Library Status and Services page. For information about online resources please visit the Getting Started @ the Bentley Library – Online guide. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance finding materials, accessing electronic resources, or conducting research.