Help! I keep getting error messages when using Library Search
Have you ever been searching for something on the library website and been faced with an error message? It might have been something like Error 431, Bad Message, or Page Can’t Be Found. Whatever it looks like, error messages can be frustrating – but there are simple ways to fix the problem.
Cookies and cache – what’s the difference?
You might have heard the words ‘have you tried clearing your cookies or cache?’ before – it’s almost the web version of ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’ This is because these two things are most often the cause of those annoying error messages.
Let’s look at the differences between the two.
What are cookies?
Cookies are tiny files that remember useful information about your visit/s to a particular website, so the website can customise information for you. Cookies can track info such as:
- your preferences (like opening or closing tabs, accepting T&Cs, or closing alert boxes)
- your IP address
- the time and date you visit
- items you’ve added to a shopping cart
- displaying library outage notices
- tracking usage for Google Analytics
Cookies ‘live’ for a certain length of time before expiring. You can choose to clear all of your cookies, or selectively clear them from a single website.
What is the benefit of selectively clearing cookies?
One of the downsides of clearing your cookies is that it will log you out of all your active sessions – including social media, email, social media and anything else you use your browser for. Having to log back into everything can be a pain!
Fortunately in most browsers you can choose to clear cookies from just the affected website. This will keep you logged into all of your other browser sessions, saving you time. Check out this blog for more information on selectively clearing cookies on different browsers.
What are caches?
Caching stores parts of the webpages you visit on your computer, so the page loads quicker the next time you visit. Entire pages or page elements (such as images and videos) can be cached on your machine, and will remain there until you delete them.
Website caching sometimes means that you don’t see the most recent version of a webpage, because your browser is instead showing you the cached (older) version. You can force your browser to reload any page without using cache by hitting Ctrl+F5.
You can also clear your cache by following instructions from Digital Services.