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System simplifies library access

Beginning this semester, accessing UTM’s online databases has become a lot easier.

The Paul Meek Library switched to a service called EZProxy to accommodate off-campus students.

Before the EZProxy service, students had to configure proxy settings on their web browsers, something that was not simple for the casual Internet user.

EZProxy does not require changing any browser settings and just prompts for the student lab ID and password.

The new proxy service does not affect on-campus users who connect using LAN.

EZProxy allows students to access the numerous commercial databases that UTM subscribes to.

A proxy service is required because of license agreements with database providers.

EZProxy URLs include a special prefix, so old bookmarks will not authenticate students properly.

Also, firewalls may disallow EZProxy from working correctly. Users must also enable cookies on their browser in order for EZProxy to work correctly.

With the new proxy authentication service, users only have to login once for an entire session.

Jim Nance, media services coordinator for the Paul Meek Library, said that the new service represents “a substantial service upgrade for the library.”

“It was difficult logging on before we switched over to EZProxy.

“We saw that there was a problem with having to configure browsers and went ahead and got this commercial product.

“EZProxy should make the process much easier for people accessing the databases away from UTM,” Nance said.