UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Which web browser should I use for the proxy server?

A browser that supports an Automatic Proxy Configuration feature is required. We recommend that you use a modern browser for which security updates are provided, such as Firefox 10+, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8+, Google Chrome 17+, or Safari 4+.

If I have two browsers installed, do I have to configure both of them to use the proxy service?

No, but you will need to set up each browser that you plan to use with the proxy server. Configuring one browser will not automatically configure the other one.

Do I have to set up my browser to use the proxy server every time I surf the web?

No. Once you've set up your browser to use the proxy server, the setting will be saved until you change it.

How do I turn off the Automatic Proxy Configuration setting?

If you no longer need to use the proxy server, you can easily disable the the Automatic Proxy Configuration setting.

To do this, go to the setup instructions for your browser and follow the instructions for turning off the setting.

Once you do this, you will be unable to use the proxy server until you turn the setting back on.

What if I need to use another proxy server?

You would need to reconfigure your browser each time you want to switch proxy servers. There may be extensions available for your browser to facilitate this, such as FoxyProxy for Firefox.

How will I know when to use the proxy server?

Once you set up your web browser to run the Automatic Proxy Configuration, it will be engaged automatically when needed. You will not have to decide when the proxy server is to be used.

The proxy server has changed - how and why?

In April 2012, the library made major changes to its proxy server, used for off-campus access to journal article databases and other licensed electronic resources. These changes prevent unauthorized access to licensed resources, improve efficiency, and also simplify setup requirements in most cases.

For most users, the change is transparent

The existing proxy URLs in current users' web browser settings will continue to work. For new users, revised setup instructions now give a single URL to use, whether they prefer the CalNet or Patron/PIN login method. A combined login screen provides a choice between these two methods.

Here's what may affect you

  1. The new proxy server requires that your web browser accept all cookies, including "third party cookies." If you would prefer not to do this, there are several alternatives:
    • Configure your browser to delete cookies on exit, and exit at the end of each web browsing session. You can also delete cookies manually whenever you like. Here are instructions for Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Safari for iPad.
    • Use a different browser when you access licensed resources. Configure it to use the proxy, and to accept all cookies.
    • In a browser that supports profiles, like Firefox, configure one profile for proxy use with all cookies allowed, and one for other use.
    • Instead of the proxy server, use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) system.
  2. To improve security, those using the Patron/PIN login method will now need to enter the email address associated with their library account. If you're not sure which email address you use for this purpose, log into My OskiCat and use the address displayed there.
  3. As with the previous proxy server, databases whose URLs begin with "https" will return an error message, unless you first visit an "http" resource such as the Oxford English Dictionary (http://www.oed.com/)

For more information see the Connect from off-campus page.

If you encounter issues not resolved with the information above, please report them using Proxy Technical Problem Report form.

When I try to access a website, I'm prompted for a username and password. What do I use?

To ensure that only authorized people use the proxy server, you will need to "authenticate" yourself by logging in before you use a licensed resource.

The proxy login screen will present two options for login:

  • CalNet method: This uses the CalNet ID, the campuswide identifier for UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. The login requires a personalized ID and "passphrase" chosen by the user. For more information, visit the CalNet website.
  • or
  • Patron/PIN method: This uses the number from the person's Cal 1 Card, or Library card issued by our Privileges Desk. The login also requires a Library PIN (Personal Identification Number), which can be set within OskiCat, the UC Berkeley Library catalog, and the email address associated with your patron record.

If you have access to both kinds of login, choose whichever you prefer. Once you're authenticated by either method, the proxy's behavior is the same.

Your authentication will automatically expire after 4 hours without any use of the proxy.

If you see a screen with a vendor's logo and a prompt to log in or to subscribe to the database, this indicates that your proxy setup is not configured correctly, or in effect. Double-check your settings, and see our Library Proxy Server page for more help.

How do I access library resources from off campus?

Anyone may access the library catalogs and most of the Library's web pages from any Internet-connected computer.

Some licensed electronic resources, such as e-books, journal article databases, and online reference tools, are commercial products with access restrictions.  UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff members, and some other individuals affiliated with the University, can connect to these resources from off campus using the Library proxy service or VPN.

For more information and setup instructions, see connect from Off Campus.

Why does the proxy server sometimes ask me to log in when I'm not accessing a licensed library resource?

Many online information vendors use several servers within the same internet domain to provide their services. In such cases, the Library proxy is active for the entire domain to ensure that all these resources are available to the campus community.

Sometimes sites which are available freely to the public and would not require the proxy are served from within the same internet domain as sites which require a license. Therefore, if your browser is configured to use the proxy server, you may be asked to log in to access such a site.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If it becomes bothersome, you can turn off the proxy setting in your browser (for details on how to do this, consult the setup instructions).

Pages