Library moves to proxy server for easy off-campus access

Sept. 7, 2015

DeKeveion Glaspie
dglaspie@uccs.edu

With every semester comes change to UCCS. Over the summer, one of those changes involved how students access the library’s databases off campus.

Previously, the Kramer Family Library allowed users off campus to install a virtual private network (VPN) on their computer and connect to it when they want to access the library’s database. By switching from VPN to a proxy server, users are no longer required to install or configure settings to access the library’s databases.

“Simply click a database link off campus and you’re prompted to enter your UCCS username and password – that’s it,” said Joel Tonyan, systems and user experience librarian and assistant professor.

This is the same password that students use to access Blackboard and their student portal account.

Tonyan detailed the work that proceeded after setting up the proxy.

“Once the proxy server was set up, we had to identify all of the library’s electronic resources that would need to be proxied, configure each resource to work with the proxy and then test each one of them off campus,” he said.

Launched on June 15, the transition from VPN to proxy took about five months and involved working closely with UCCS’ IT department. The new proxy works not only with computers, but also smartphones and tablets.

Megan Fleming, senior elementary education major, is one of the many commuters on campus who has used the new proxy system.

“It’s not very often when I use the database offline, but when I did in the past I had difficulties with it connecting with my computer,” she said. “I like it when it actually decides to connect.”

Switching to the proxy was a collective decision by the librarians after receiving many questions about the Library’s previous VPN system each semester. Acknowledging this problem, the library and IT decided it was time for a simpler system.

According to Tonyan, since the June 15 launch, the server has been accessed over 9,000 times by more than 4,000 users.

For students who have questions about the proxy system, go to: http://libguides.uccs.edu/basics/proxy.