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Library proxy: FAQs

Information about the library's proxy, and instructions for creating bookmarklets.


Q. What library databases may I access from home using libproxy?        

A. You may access all of the library databases from home using libproxy.

Q. How do I access licensed resources from off-campus using libproxy?

A. The same way you do now:

UC Library Search records

A-Z Databases

Q. I've installed the libproxy bookmarklet to my browser's toolbar but I'm still not able to access licensed resources from off-campus. Why?

A. Installing the libproxy bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar is only the first step. After you land on a licensed resource you must click on the libproxy bookmarklet. After you click on the libproxy bookmarklet you should see the Library's login page where you can authenticate via your CalNet or Patron PIN / Cal 1 Card.

Q. I tried to access the A-Z Journal list from off-campus and it is requiring me to authenticate. Why?

A. Access to UC Berkeley licensed resources requires authentication for access.  If you are not affiliated with UC Berkeley, please click on the "Attempt to go to resources without login" link on the authentication page.

Q. How do I use libproxy?

A. If you access a licensed resource via a link found in UC Library Search, or one of our licensed resource repositories, authentication should require no configuration on your part. When you select a database, libproxy checks whether your computer or device  is on campus or off. On campus includes any device that uses the campus network.

If you are on campus, connected via eduroam wifi, or a computer connected to the campus network, you will bypass authentication and be sent directly to the licensed resource.

If you are off campus, or on campus but connected via Cal Visitor wifi, you will be required to log in via CalNet or your Library/Cal 1 card number and Library PIN.

Q. What do I do if I come across a licensed resource link that has not been configured to use libproxy?

A. You may want to use a bookmarklet. See the Instructions for browsers and mobile devices in this libproxy Guide.

Q. Who can use libproxy?

A. Eligibility is governed by our license agreements with the vendors of electronic resources. These typically stipulate that the Library can permit off-campus access to authorized users only.

Authorized users:

  • Current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.
  • Continuing UC Berkeley students who, although unregistered, are in good standing and working towards a degree.
  • UC Berkeley emeritus professors and retired academic and non academic staff.
  • UCOP (University of California Office of the President) staff with valid UC Berkeley library cards who are engaged in work on behalf of UC Berkeley.
  • UC Extension students with valid UC Berkeley library cards.
  • UC Extension faculty with valid UC Berkeley library cards.
  • Visiting scholars and post-doctoral fellows who are registered with the Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs office.

Off-campus access via libproxy is not available to:

  • Alumni.
  • Former employees.
  • Persons unofficially or only loosely affiliated with UC Berkeley.
  • Persons who have a CalNet Sponsored Guest account.
  • Associates of other University of California campuses.
  • Those who have purchased a UC Berkeley Library Card.
  • Retired LBNL employees.
  • The public at large.

Please see our guide Freely Available Resources for Research for an introduction to some of the many free resources for research available online.

If you have questions concerning your eligibility for Library services, please contact the Privileges Desk in Doe Library (510-642-3403).

However, anyone may come into the Library and use these resources through the "Research Access" option on our public computers.

Q. What is the difference between libproxy and VPN?

A. VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows users to access networks and services over a secure connection.  When using VPN, your off-campus computer is dynamically assigned a UCB IP address, which allows you access to UCB’s IP restricted resources.

Libproxy is a web proxy server used by libraries to give access from outside the library's computer network to restricted-access websites that authenticate users by IP address. This allows library patrons at home or elsewhere to log in through their library's libproxy server and gain access to bibliographic databases and the like to which their library subscribes.

Q. Why do I need to be authenticated?

A. Online databases to which UC Berkeley subscribes are restricted for use by UCB students, faculty, and staff.

Access to most online resources is based on your computer's IP address. Anyone coming from a campus IP gets access, but users are refused access if they are coming from elsewhere. To provide off campus access to UCB users, libproxy is used. libproxy performs two primary functions.

  1. Authenticates users as students, faculty or staff by requiring a login, thus ensuring compliance with vendor restrictions.
  2. Allows users to route their requests through campus (with a valid IP address) to the restricted online resources.

Q. I got a Cookie Error. What do I do?

A. Both libproxy and certain databases send "cookies" when you connect to them to verify, during your session, that you are an authorized user. If your browser reports an error receiving a "cookie," it may be currently set to disallow cookies. Make sure that your browser allows third party cookies.

Q. My Mac is running Mojave or High Sierra and I'm not able to install the libproxy bookmarklet in my Chrome browser. What should I do?

A. You will either need to install an EZproxy browser extension in your Chrome browser or use Safari as your browser.

  • Chrome: It is not possible to install the libproxy bookmarklet in Chrome on some Mac operating systems (e.g., Mojave and High Sierra).  If you must use Chrome as your browser you will need to install an EZproxy browser extension. Search Google for "EZproxy extension."
  • Safari: It is possible to install the libproxy bookmarklet in Safari if your Mac OS is Mojave or High Sierra. Please consider using Safari as your browser.