Can’t access from off-campus? Best help pages

One of the biggest challenges academic libraries face is how to provide easy, reliable, streamlined access to electronic resources. With multiple vendors, a clunky proxy server authentication system, and (at my library) the additional complication of a campus authentication system, this is not easy. Inevitably, off-campus students are going to have trouble accessing library resources.

We decided it was time to develop an access problem troubleshooting LibGuide, and include a form for reporting access problems. To develop my guide, I looked at lots of great examples.

Here are 6 academic libraries with excellent e-resource access help on their websites:

Cornell University 

University of Texas at Austin 

Northeastern University

Syracuse University

University of Houston

Rice University

And here is the remarkably detailed and comprehensive  IT knowledge base from Indiana University – if you haven’t seen this before, you should check it out. For a good demonstration, search for “cookies:”  

Indiana University IT knowledge base

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5 thoughts on “Can’t access from off-campus? Best help pages

  1. This is a fabulous post. Will use your guide, and your models, for planning our own. Did you use Libguide software to create your form? Has it generated responses?

  2. I think you can create forms in LibGuides if you have CampusGuides (which is now called something else that I can’t recall). But I used a Google form – not an ideal solution, but it is easy for users.

    The form has been a huge success – not only are our users reporting all sorts of problems, but we are using it to document any kind of access issue we deal with at the reference and circ desks. This keeps stats on problems in one place – making it easier to go to IT to advocate for a more standard EXProxy config, for example.

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