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Proxy FAQ

Troubleshooting FAQ for Off-Campus Access

Need help logging in to library resources from off campus? Check out our Off-Campus Access Instructions for Databases and Online Journals.

Having problems with your NetID and password? Check out NetID's in the University Libraries.

This document will help you solve problems getting access to library databases and e-journals from off campus. It addresses both technical issues and issues with your account.

Technical issues

Question: I'm not able to connect to the Libraries' e-journals and databases from off campus. What technical issues should I be looking for?

Answer: There are many potential issues that might be causing your problem. Here are a few.

1. You are using the campus VPN.

Solution: Please disable the VPN when accessing databases from off-campus.


2. Your browser is not set to accept cookies.

Solution: Consult the Cookie Information page to be sure your browser is correctly configured.


3. Your computer is protected by firewall software.

Solution: Your firewall's security setting may be too high. Lower it to "medium" or the equivalent, and try connecting again. In addition, you may need to lower the cookie protection within your firewall software. Check the privacy settings and make sure that cookies are allowed and not being blocked.


4. You are using America Online (AOL).

Solution: Sometimes AOL doesn't work well with some of the Libraries' resources. After you connect to the Internet with AOL, minimize the AOL window and launch a different Web browser to access our resources. In this case, be sure that your Web browser accepts cookies (see item 1 above).


5. Your wired or wireless computer is connected to the Internet through a highspeed cable or DSL router.

Solution: Your computer may have a non-routable network address. If this is the case, it may not be able to connect to the Libraries' resources. You can check this on a Windows machine by selecting Start >> Run >> and typing "cmd." A command prompt window will appear. Type "ipconfig." If you see the address 192.168 or another non-routable IP address, call your Internet Service Provider or router customer support and ask how to turn off network address translation.


6. None of the above is the case.

Solution: Try a different browser. For example, if you are using Internet Explorer or Safari, try Firefox. If you have more than one computer at home, try another one.


Question: I can get to a database or e-journal, but it asks me for a user name and password. Why doesn't my user name or password work?

If you do not see the login screen shown below, you have somehow managed to bypass the Libraries' proxy server that will authenticate you. Instead, you are seeing a login screen on the remote provider's site. You cannot enter the site from there.

shibboleth login

Be sure you are linking to a database or e-journal from a page on the Libraries Web site, the Minerva online catalog, or ERes. If you are attempting to connect from a course Web page, or a bookmark, the link may not allow you to connect from off campus.


Question: What if I keep trying to connect to a database or e-journal but I get an error that my user name or password is incorrect?

If you are using your NetID to log in, you may be using the wrong password. You must use your Unix password with your NetID to access the Libraries' resources. Review NetIDs in the University Library to be sure you are using the correct password with your NetID.

If you are using your SUNYCard to log in, make sure you are typing the last nine digits of your SUNYCard barcode as your User Name. These digits are located on the bottom right hand corner of your card. Your barcode begins with the number 2 9089.


Question: I can log in to a database or e-journal, but the site isn't working or I get error messages.

Sometimes there are technical problems with the database or e-journal. These are not library issues, but issues with the servers on the provider's end. Please call the library (518-442-3600) to report any problems so that we can look into it.


Question: What if I click on a link in the online catalog and nothing happens? Sometimes nothing happens when I click on a Web address on other sites, too.

Some links are programmed to open a small window called a pop-up. You may have a pop-up blocker running that is preventing this window from opening. Some search engine toolbars (such as the Google toolbar) block pop-ups. If you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 2, pop-ups are also blocked. In both these cases, you can disable the pop-up blocker entirely or just for individual sites such as the library catalog. Your firewall may also be configured to block pop-ups. This feature should be turned off.

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Issues with your account

Question: How can I be sure that I'm a valid library borrower?

You must have a SUNYCard issued by the University at Albany, and be currently affiliated with the university as a faculty member, student or staff. If this is not the case, you do not have access to the Libraries' subscription products.


Question: What if my status at the university recently changed?

This may have one of two answers:

1. Your university status may have expired. If you are no longer affiliated with the University at Albany as student, faculty or staff, you do not have access to the Libraries' subscription products.

2. You were once a courtesy borrower but are now affiliated with the University. Call the Circulation Department at 442-3600 and ask to have your patron record updated to reflect your new affiliated status. Once your record is updated, you will have access to the Libraries' subscription products.


Question: Can I use the Libraries' subscription products if I am a courtesy borrower or an unaffiliated user?

No. Our subscription agreements do not permit off-campus access by courtesy or unaffiilated users. On-site access is available.


Question: If I still have a SUNYCard and am also a courtesy borrower, can I use the Libraries' subscription products?

No. Off-campus access to subscription products is terminated when active affiliation as faculty/staff/student expires. Alumni do not have continued remote access.


Question: Can I use the Libraries' subscription products if I have a SUNYCard from another SUNY institution?

No, but check with your home institution for access to similar resources.


Question: Can I use the Libraries' subscription products if I have overdue books?

No. If you have any overdue materials, you lose your library privileges, including the privilege to connect to the subscription products. Return your overdue books and pay your fine.


Question: I've tried everything and I still can't connect! Who can I call for more assistance?

There may be problems with your patron record in the library's database. Call the Circulation Department at 442-3569 and suggest the following possibilities:

  • If you are using your SUNYCard to log in, you may have a different barcode on your SUNYCard than the one in the library's database; if this is the case, come into the library and have your SUNYCard scanned to register the new number
  • Your ID (Social Security Number) may be different than the one in the library's database
  • You may have a hold on your account that is in error

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Back to Off-Campus Access Instructions for Databases and Online Journals

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