Volume 2 Number 2
Libraries Wherever You Are
Allowing your students to access electronic resources from home and other off-campus locations is an issue for most libraries. Many database products and services use the IP (Internet Protocol) address to determine whether a person should be given access to their database. This is fine on-campus, but what about off-campus access?
Knowing that a SUNY-wide solution to this situation was still unavailable, Assistant Provost for Library Services, Carey Hatch took another approach. The OLIS purchased a SUNY-wide license for the EZproxy software.
"It is an absolutely fantastic program! The greatest strength of EZproxy is that a person like me can do 95%-100% of what needs to be done. I feel so empowered. What I keep saying over and over as I work with EZProxy is: 'Cool! Slick! Wow, that's easy! Just follow the directions and watch it work!' " Natalie Sturr, Systems Librarian, SUNY Oswego.
Ease of use is one of the benefits of this software. Your off-campus students are able to access your databases without having to re-configure their web browser. Faculty can make use of electronic resources from home whether they know what a "proxy server" is or not.
EZproxy seems to fulfill the basic requirements to allow for off-campus access to library databases. And the price is right. Any SUNY institution may acquire the software for no charge. Contact ITEC about obtaining the software. Thanks to ITEC for their work in supporting SUNY's implementation of EZproxy. Currently, dozens of SUNY campuses are making use of the software.
SUNY OLIS recognizes the benefits of working together with the SUNY libraries to address issues of new technology and new library services. We also recognize that at times the best approach is to provide a tool and let the talented SUNY library and computer center staffs have at it. Until the SUNYConnect LMS is fully implemented and a SUNY-wide database of student, faculty and staff information is available, this latter approach to off-campus database access seems best. "I am proud to announce that all of our online databases are now available to all of our users either on campus or remotely. We are now using EZproxy kindly provided under a SUNY wide license by OLIS. Thank you , Carey and crew," Wilfred (Bill) Drew, Associate Librarian, Systems and Reference, SUNY Morrisville College Library.