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Please Help Me! #2: EZproxy Issues

There are several possible reasons why Drexel patrons may find themselves unable to access an electronic resource to which we *should* have access. We are deciphering them, one by one, with this blog sub-series called Please Help Me!

EZproxy-Related Issues

EZproxy is the tool used by Drexel Libraries to provide users with remote access to Web-based licensed library content. It is middleware that authenticates library users against local authentication systems and provides remote access to licensed content based on the user’s authorization.  We all interact with EZproxy whenever we enter our Drexel username and password to access library content.  Off-campus access to Drexel Library electronic resources is determined by the status of each patron's record in the libraries' Millennium system (which is in-turn informed by the registrar's information in Drexel's Banner system).  Each link to a licensed resource provided from Drexel University Libraries contains a URL prefix funneling users through the EZproxy system.  That URL prefix is http://www.library.drexel.edu/cgi-bin/r.cgi?url=

There are 2 occasional EZproxy-related access issues patrons may encounter.

1. EZproxy error message: a patron clicks on a resource link and sees the following error message:

To allow [resource URL]  to be used in a starting point URL, your EZproxy administrator must first authorize the hostname of this URL in the ezproxy.cfg file.  Within this database's section of ezproxy.cfg, the following line must be added:

[resource URL]
The EZproxy server must then be restarted to make the change take effect.

This indicates that the resource is not currently listed in the EZproxy server list of Drexel licensed resources.  Please inform Noelle Egan and Ian Richmond so we may add this resource to the authorized list.  Should the patron need access immediately, a workaround for access is for the patron, once authenticated as an Authorized Drexel User through EZproxy (by entering his or her Drexel username and password), to then use the original link that produced the error message and remove the EZproxy prefix (http://www.library.drexel.edu/cgi-bin/r.cgi?url=), leaving only the resource URL.

2. Patron not recognized as an authorized user: occasionally, and especially right after the end of each term at Drexel, our automated system may prematurely change the status of current students to 'graduated,' or perhaps remove access for an adjunct faculty member or DUCOM professional who has not been active.  Should a patron who should be an authorized user attempt access through EZproxy and get back a message stating they are not permitted access, please inform Access Services who may then check the patron's record and change the erroneous status as needed.

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